For Anglo American Plc, life would have to get a whole lot worse before it considers selling its best copper mines.
“We don’t need to sell them. Anglo is not in that position,” Hennie Faul, Anglo’s copper chief, said in an interview in Santiago, Chile on Monday. The entire industry would be in turmoil for Anglo to have to sell its prime assets, he said.
The century-old company is trying to engineer a turnaround by selling more than half its other mines and exiting the iron-ore and coal business to focus on its best assets — producers of diamonds, platinum and copper. Anglo wants to raise $4 billion from selling mines and reduce net debt to less than $10 billion this year.
The price of copper has rebounded 10 percent from a six-year low of $4,318 a metric ton in January, sparking a turnaround in Anglo’s shares, which have jumped 73 percent this year in London. That’s helped relieve some of the urgency of enacting Anglo’s rescue plan unveiled in February by Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani.
While the company is selling everything from coal in Australia to niobium in Brazil, there has been speculation that it’s best two copper mines, Collahuasi and Los Bronces, are the sort of projects larger rivals such as BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group would be interested in buying. Both have said they would like to add high quality copper mines.
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