Callide and Dartbrook coal mines for sale as Anglo targets cost savings

Anglo American’s Callide and Dartbrook coal mines are for sale as the miner announces a massive transformation that will see it shed 35 per cent of its workforce globally.

Chief of Anglo’s coal business Seamus French said the assets are “available for sale now,” in an investor presentation.

The company is also reviewing its coal operations in South Africa as part of the shakeup.

It comes as Anglo announced it would further reduce capital expenditure by $US500-800 million in 2014 and by up to $US1 billion in 2015 to $US5.2-5.5 billion.

By 2017 Anglo is targeting productivity to improve by 80%, with 35% fewer people globally through growth and restructuring.

Chief executive of Anglo Mark Cutifani said the company had delivered on major commitments to shareholders.

The company said 71% of Anglo’s priority assets are now performing above plan versus just 21% in 2012.

It also said its coal unit costs in Australia had been cut by 21%, with longwall productivity up 120%.

2014 production guidance increased further for iron ore, met coal, thermal coal, copper and nickel, to enhance margins, Anglo said.

However Cutifani said further changes need to be made.

“We must be disciplined with our deployment of physical and financial resources to focus on those assets that will provide us with the greatest returns and potential upside,” he told investors.

“We are committed to maintaining a robust capital structure which balances long term business value growth with sustainable capital returns to shareholders.”

 Anglo said due to falling commodity prices it will have to find an extra $US2 billion, on top of an earlier planned $US4 billion, to reach its 15% return on capital employed target for 2016. 

"There is certainly no doubt that we don't want to pull any punches," Cutifani said.

"Prices are what they are. Our job is to adapt and continue to improve.

“We’re already outlining improvement programs two or three times more aggressive than our competitors. We’ve got to deliver what we said we’d do by 2016. That would mean 7 to 8% better than we were when we started.”

Anglo said its net debt is expected to peak in 2015 to between $US13.5 – 14 billion and said its dividend is expected to be funded by cashflow from 2016 onwards.

“Our revised operating model is delivering strong results and we are building on those foundations to complete the next phase of the transformation process in line with the strategic objectives for 2015,” Cutifani said.

Image: flickr.com

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