Rumours Rife over Anglo American Plans to Sell Off South African Platinum Mines
Anglo American, the UK-based mining company with platinum interests in South Africa, is rumoured to be considering selling off those mines, which have been plagued with long-running industrial disputes.
The three loss-making mines at Rustenburg are operated for Anglo by Anglo American Platinum and according to leading analysts could be sold off for $1.4bn by 2015.
Anglo American SA’s head of corporate Communications was reported earlier this week as saying: “The industry is facing significant headwinds to realise the levels of returns that we would view as acceptable, so we are examining how we could reconfigure the portfolio to drive returns, particularly taking into account the opportunity presented by our unique and world-class open pit.”
According to leading mining analyst Rob Clifford, of Deutsche Bank AG South Africa’s major gold producing company Sibanye Gold might be interested in taking over the platinum mines.
He was reported as saying: “There is an opportunity for a new owner of the Rustenburg mines to take out costs.
“Some mining industry participants are looking in general at merger and acquisition opportunities in the platinum industry. The on-going strike may bring some of those opportunities to fruition.”
Mark Cutifani, Anglo’s Chief Executive Officer, has previously revealed his company’s intention of Mechanising open pit operations to steer away from over intensive manual labour at the underground operations.