Anglo American looking to sell assets amid low prices, labour woes

South African mining major Anglo American has put a number of assets up for sale in a bid to boost returns for shareholders.

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The miner is looking to sell a number of platinum assets, as well as a copper miner and holdings in nickel companies. These could fetch as much as $4 billion, according to media reports.

“We have been clear that a number of assets in the portfolio are unlikely to satisfy our stated return criteria and will be divested at the right time,” Anglo American spokesman James Wyatt-Tilbey said in a statement emailed to Steel First on Monday June 30.

Wyatt Tilbey did not comment on the exact number or nature of the assets for sale.

Anglo American is one of the world’s largest miners, but has suffered from a succession of labour disputes at its platinum operations in South Africa, and a sharp drop in product prices.

The price of iron ore sold into China, one of Anglo’s largest customers, tumbled from more than $130 per tonne at the beginning of the year to less than $90 per tonne in June.

Prices have since rebounded slightly, but market participants expect levels to remain low in the short to medium term.

The miner denied on June 27 reports that it was looking to sell its huge Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil to Swedish miner LKAB.

The miner said in April 2013 that it was willing to explore a commercial partnership option to develop the Brazilian project.

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