Anglo American to sell Australian coal mines to cut debt

15 February 2016 (Last Updated February 15th, 2016 18:30)

Anglo American is planning to offload all its coal mines in Australia in an effort to cut net debt to less than $10bn by the end of 2016.

Anglo American is planning to offload all its coal mines in Australia in an effort to cut net debt to less than $10bn by the end of 2016.

The latest move will enable the company to focus on its core portfolio of diamond, platinum group metals (PGMs) and copper assets.

The company noted that it will reduce its global portfolio to 16 assets, targeting $3bn to $4bn in asset sales in 2016.

"We are targeting net debt of less than $10bn in 2016, assuming current commodity prices and exchange rates."

Anglo American also proposes to sell nickel, niobium and phosphates, and moranbah and grosvenor metallurgical coal assets.

Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani said: "We have detailed a series of measures, including $1.9bn of additional EBIT benefits from cost and productivity improvements to deliver positive free cash-flow in 2016 and beyond, and an additional $3bn-$4bn in asset disposal proceeds.

"As a result, we are targeting net debt of less than $10bn in 2016, assuming current commodity prices and exchange rates.

"In the medium term, we are targeting net debt of $6bn, supporting a return to a solid investment grade credit rating."

The company plans to manage its other assets, in bulk commodities and other minerals, for cash generation or disposal over time.

The latest sale follows Anglo American's agreement announced in January 2016 to sell its 100% interest in the Callide thermal coal mine in Queensland and 83.33% stake in the Dartbrook coal mine in the Hunter Valley to Batchfire Resources and Australian Pacific Coal respectively.