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Cape Town – South32 said on Monday that it would return an additional $500 million to shareholders via a share buy-back in Australia.

The miner with operations in Australia, Southern Africa and South America said the capital management programme, equating to 4.5 percent of the company’s market capitalisation, complemented its dividend policy.

South32’s chairman, David Crawford, said the announcement demonstrated the company’s “disciplined” approach to capital management and confidence in the group’s cash generating capacity.

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The group’s chief executive officer, Graham Kerr, said: “Our net cash balance continues to build, giving us the financial strength and flexibility to invest in our existing operations, pursue opportunities where we can create value and return excess capital to shareholders.

“This $500 million capital management programme meaningfully increases shareholder returns and follows the recent announcement of our $192 million interim dividend.”

The company said the buy-back, which would be funded from existing cash reserves, was expected to be completed over a 12-month period. AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY