ANGLO American will either sell down its majority stake in Kumba Iron Ore or demerge the asset in a process that will take until 2017, but it will keep its Minas Rio iron ore mine in Brazil in the stable for the next three years, executives said.
Anglo American said it would cut its asset base 16 from a target of between 20 and 25 set last December. At that stage it held 55 assets.
Anglo is narrowing its focus to just diamonds in De Beers, platinum in Anglo American platinum — an 80% held subsidiary — and copper. It is getting out of iron ore, coal, nickel and a number of other commodity classes.
“We are looking at either selling down our equity position in Kumba as well as a potential demerger of Kumba. Because of the time it will take to complete this transaction in SA, we will not expect to complete this transaction until some time in 2017,” Anglo chief financial officer Rene Medori said.
Anglo is in talks with the South African government and Eskom about the sale of its thermal coal mines that supply the state power utility.
“We have an open-tender process, making sure we consider commercial aspects, empowerment aspects, social aspects and delivering on our commitments to our customers and to the government,” said Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani.
“We have a short list and each of those groups is fully empowered. We are in conversation with the government, Eskom and the players involved to make sure we understand what’s required in finalising a transaction that meets the needs of all parties,” he said.
“I expect those conversations to go through the next couple of months and then we’ll see where we land and work out what the final bids should look like and how that will fit with each of our key stakeholders,” he said.
Anglo was selling out of large thermal and metallurgical coal mines in Australia and Colombia too, he said.
Anglo had deemed its Minas Rio iron ore project in Brazil noncore but had no immediate plans to sell it, said Mr Cutifani.
“We are committed to building and completing the project and making sure it delivers on its potential as a 50-year, high-quality, low-cost iron ore asset. We see that process over the next two or three years and then we will review our options based on the market and how much progress we’ve made and success we’ve had with the asset,” he said.
“We are not announcing a sales process today,” he said.
Anglo would cut 68,000 jobs from its payroll through asset disposals that would realise between $3bn and $4bn this year, Mr Cutifani said, adding a further 10,000 jobs would be lost through restructuring. This would bring the Anglo workforce to 50,000 people.