Carroll: Minas Rio, Grosvenor protects Anglo from takeover

Cynthia Carroll, who steps down as CEO of Anglo American in April, again had to defend her record at the diversified giant, specifically the Minas Rio iron-ore project.

Carroll bought the Brazil iron ore project for $5.5bn in 2007 from billionaire Eike Batista  – it was her first deal after taking the reigns.

She recently said her mandate when she was appointed was to pursue iron ore, but that mandate quickly turned very expensive.

The initial project capex of $3.6 billion has been revised on more than one occasion and in November the London-listed miner said the final bill is predicted to come in at a whopping $8.8 billion.

When asked by Bloomberg whether she was scapegoated over Minas Rio, Carroll said she took "short term pain [her resignation] for long term gain [for Anglo]."

In terms of scale and quality Minas Rio remains a "tier one" asset and she also points out that since the acquisition the resource there has increased fourfold and that the mine will contribute $2-$3 billion in earnings when it start operation at the end of next year.

Carroll blamed much of the troubles facing the project on the regulatory environment in Brazil "which changed almost on a daily basis,"  adding that of the 331 licences required only 7 are outstanding  and of the 1744 conditions set by authorities only 3% outstanding.

She also denies leaving Anglo vulnerable to advances from among others Swiss giant Glencore, because of all the cash that will be generated by Minas Rio and Grosvenor, Anglo's greenfields met coal project in Australia.

The conversation about Minas Rio starts at 2:30 while around the 5:00 mark Carroll discusses Anglo as a takeover target: