Date
27 July 2017
Anglo American plans to reduce its portfolio of assets by up to 60 percent amid falling raw material prices  Photo: AFP
Anglo American plans to reduce its portfolio of assets by up to 60 percent amid falling raw material prices Photo: AFP

Anglo American to slash 85,000 jobs, trim assets

Anglo American Plc. is cutting 85,000 jobs in the next several years as part of a sweeping restructuring amid a prolonged slump in raw material prices.

The plan includes assets sales, layoffs and other job cuts and suspension of dividend payments, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The London-based miner, one of the largest in the world, is responding to falling resources prices.

Chief executive Mark Cutifani said in a conference call Tuesday that Anglo, founded in 1917 by mining mogul Ernest Oppenheimer, will be “a very different company” after it follows through on the restructuring plan.

The moves, which the company called “radical”, mark one of the forceful responses from a major mining company to a relentless plunge in commodities.

Slackening demand from China, even as miners ramp up production, has weighed on the prices of nearly every commodity, from copper and iron ore to coal, all of which Anglo produces.

The onslaught is forcing miners to make tough choices including dividend and cost cuts, asset sales and debt-reduction plans.

New projects have been put on ice and expansion plans scrapped in a downturn many industry veterans say is the worst they have ever seen.

Swiss mining and trading giant Glencore Plc. in September suspended its dividend and raised US$2.5 billion in stock as part of a plan to cut its net debt by more than US$10 billion.

Glencore’s stock has seen a sharp selloff, tumbling nearly 30 percent in a single day of furious trading later that month, as investors fret that sharply lower commodity revenues could result in crippling credit-rating downgrades.

Even more resilient iron ore giants Rio Tinto Plc. and BHP Billiton Ltd. have been put on their heels.

Rio Tinto on Tuesday said it cut its spending plans for 2016 to US$5 billion from roughly US$6 billion.

BHP, whose shares recently hit a 10-year low, has been scrambling to react to a dam failure in Brazil that unleashed a torrent of waste and killed at least 13 people.

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