Platinum miners are seen in this file photo.

London - The chief executive of Anglo American dismissed reports that the group is in talks to sell its stake in the Samancor manganese joint venture with BHP Billiton and said it may be too optimistic to expect a sale of its South African platinum assets by 2015.

“I know (Amplats chief executive) Chris (Griffith) has said he can get it done by the end of 2015, that may be a little bit optimistic,” Cutifani said in a call with journalists.

He was referring to the decision to sell its platinum assets announced earlier this week by Anglo's subsidiary Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).

“Certainly that would be a target that we want to try and achieve, but I wouldn't hardwire that because quite simply there are always a few things that are quite complex,” Cutifani said.

Anglo posted on Friday a fall in first-half profits in line with analysts' forecast, hit by weaker commodity prices and by a lengthy mining strike that has slashed its platinum output. - Reuters