Anglo American puts disposal programme on hold – by Neil Hume (Financial Times – November 21, 2016)

Anglo American on Monday signalled that the mining company was willing to puts its disposal programme on hold following a dramatic rebound in commodity prices this year.

Anglo told analysts during a visit to platinum and diamond mines in South Africa and Botswana that it was prepared to hang on to assets previously deemed non-core, and run them for cash — unless it receives the “right” offers.

Hit by the natural resources crash, and burdened by large borrowings, Anglo in February put its coal, iron ore, manganese and nickel assets up for sale as part of a “shrink to survive” strategy, leaving the company to focus on just three core commodities — copper, diamonds and platinum.

But since the plan was unveiled there has been a dramatic rebound in bulk commodity prices, boosting Anglo’s cash generation and profitability to such an extent that it should now comfortably achieve its year-end debt-reduction target without more disposals in 2016.

Anglo agreed in April to sell its niobium and phosphate operation in Brazil for $1.5bn, moving the company halfway towards its stated goal of between $3bn and $4bn of disposals in 2016.

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