Diversified miner Anglo American has announced its plans to divest its thermal coal operations in South Africa (SA) and Colombia.

According to a Reuters report, the company plans to exit Colombia’s Cerrejon thermal coal mine within one and half to two years. The plan also includes divesting SA thermal coal assets within two and half years.

The step comes as the British multinational miner aims to achieve carbon neutrality across its operations by the year 2040.

In a meeting with investors, Anglo American highlighted its sustainability efforts amid increasing pressure on the mining industry to reduce carbon footprint.

CEO Mark Cutifani was quoted by the news agency as saying: “With the bulk of (growth) options in copper, PGMs, and now also crop nutrients, we are increasingly positioned to supply those metals and minerals that enable a cleaner, greener, more sustainable world.”

In 2021, Anglo American expects that the production for all minerals will increase by 14%, while unit costs will drop by 3%.

The company is expected to spend between $5.7bn and $6.2bn next year.

Additionally, the miner expects to produce around 890,000 to one million tonnes of copper in 2023, with the Quellaveco project in Peru expected to commence production in 2022.

Through its carbon neutrality strategy, Anglo American seeks to Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, specifically. The company also expects that eight of its assets will reach the carbon neutrality goal by 2030.