The company, however, has decided to stay away from thermal coal assets due mainly to uncertainties over demand linked to climate concerns.
South32 Mining News
The deal includes a 17% interest in the Port Kembla Coal Terminal, south of Sydney.
The miner continues to look for new assets, including Anglo American’s 40% stake in their manganese joint venture — Samancor.
Despite the loss and a 94% drop in earnings, analysts believe the company's modest debt of $116 million makes it well-positioned to act on opportunities.
The spin-out from BHP Billiton says it is willing to take on the manganese ore venture if the price is right.
Company is said to have sent out requests to investment banks as it seeks to hire an adviser to assist in the bidding process for Anglo American's niobium and phosphate business in Brazil.
The country's largest mining union said it had received notice from South32 about the planned cuts and wants the government to intervene.
South32's manganese mines in South Africa are unlikely to restart operations until January, when a major review is expected to be completed.
The company said is not keen on Rio Tinto's thermal coal assets, currently up for sale.
It may reduce the value of its 60% stake in the Samancor Manganese joint venture, as it keeps furnaces shut due to low prices for the commodity.
BHP Billiton shareholders have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the South32 demerger, a spin off that creates Australia’s third-largest mining company.
There are a number of challenges South32 is likely to face, including potential Black Economic Empowerment ownership concessions and power price hikes.
In the second half of 2014 the businesses bound for South32 generated $5bn worth of revenue and almost $890m of earnings before interest and tax.
The waiting game is over. BHP Billiton has named its Perth-based spin-off company, appointing Graham Kerr as its chief executive.