Anglo’s plans, unveiled at the same time it posted a jaw-dropping $5.6 billion full-year loss in 2015, includes completely exiting the coal sector by selling its remaining operations in Australia, South Africa and Colombia.
The London-listed miner also said it would extract itself, over time, from its iron ore business, including its Kumba unit in South Africa and its Minas-Rio project in Brazil. However, Anglo said it might retain the Brazilian operation for at least three years.
Nickel units, and a minority stake in the Samancor manganese business controlled by South32 (ASX, LON:S32), would also go, the company said.
Instead, the world’s number five diversified miner will focus on its copper, diamonds and platinum businesses.
The company expects to raise between $3 billion and $4 billion this year after completing the sale of these once-prized assets. As a result, Anglo American will end up with barely 16 mines, less than half the 55 it operated by the end of last year, and fewer than the “low 20s” it originally announced.
Chief Executive, Mark Cutifani, admitted that the current challenging environment is not the best scenario for disposing assets. However, he said Anglo already had bids on the table for a number of the mines up for sale.
“While we have accelerated our disposal processes, and given our targeted positive free cash flow and our robust liquidity position, we will take appropriate time to secure value outcomes from the disposal programme,” Cutifani said in statement.
He said the firm is also targeting an additional $1.9 billion of earnings before interest and taxes benefits this year.
Anglo’s $5.6 billion net loss compared with a net loss of $2.5 billion the previous year. The steep decline marks another blow for the miner, which has cut its dividend and taken massive write-downs on big projects, including $5.7 billion in after-tax impairment charges last year.
On Monday, Moody’s Investors Service axed Anglo’s debt rating to junk status, making it the first of the top-five miners to see its credit rating cut to below investment grade.
Anglo American’s shares have tumbled 70% over the past year, making it the worst performer out of the U.K.’s blue chip FTSE 100 index.
The stock was trading slightly down (1.17%) on Tuesday afternoon to 388.45 p. It remains almost 80% below its 2008 peak.