The mining and metals industry has a “bright future”, the boss of Anglo American has said, as the sector weighs up the future of China, the biggest consumer of raw materials. Mark Cutifani told the LME Week conference in London that commodities had seen “extreme price volatility in the last few months” but that “the future still looks pretty bright”.
The Anglo boss admitted that the mining industry had earned a reputation for “overextending itself”. “Companies have been rescued by a timely uplift in prices – relying on a ‘get out of jail’ card,” he said.
Mr Cutifani said that Anglo was now looking to “enhance the demand for our products” by becoming an active marketer of the commodities it produces. In particular, he said the FTSE 100 miner would look to promote new uses for platinum, used in catalytic converters and jewellery, such as in fuel cells for cars.
“Mining is a long-term industry, so our ability to drive demand in the future in a sustainable way is very important,” Mr Cutifani said. “Our role is absolutely critical, but we don’t sell our story well,” he added, urging metal producers “to challenge the status quo” through new technology and innovation.
The Anglo chief executive’s remarks come as the company looks to sell off non-core assets and focus on diamonds, platinum and copper. However, Mr Cutifani rebutted the idea that this meant the future Anglo American would be a smaller company. “We’re not shrinking the business because we’re actually producing more from fewer assets,” he said.
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