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Anglo American to slash investment in North Yorkshire mine and sell De Beers

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Published Time: 14.05.2024 - 10:40:14 Modified Time: 14.05.2024 - 10:40:14

Break-up plans unveiled as miner fights off takeover bid from rival BHP Asadour Guzelian/Guzelian Ltd Anglo American is to slash investment in its North Yorkshire fertiliser mine and sell 136-year-old diamond business De Beers as it fights off a £34bn takeover bid by rival BHP

Break-up plans unveiled as miner fights off takeover bid from rival BHP

: Asadour Guzelian/Guzelian Ltd

Anglo American is to slash investment in its North Yorkshire fertiliser mine and sell 136-year-old diamond business De Beers as it fights off a £34bn takeover bid by rival BHP.

The miner will reduce spending on the Woodsmith facility in the North Yorkshire Moors to only $200m (£159m) next year, and will pause investment completely in 2026.

In addition to De Beers – a behemoth once responsible for 85pc of the world’s diamond output – it intends to sell off its major steelmaking coal and nickel divisions.

Anglo will also offload the majority stake it owns in stock market-listed platinum miner Anglo American Platinum, known as Amplats.

The miner’s chief executive Duncan Wanblad set out the major strategic overhaul on Tuesday morning in an effort to free up cash for shareholders.

He said: “These actions represent the most radical changes to Anglo American in decades. I believe these are the right decisions to position Anglo American to capitalise on the outstanding resource endowment opportunities within our portfolio today.”

The overhaul will leave Anglo, which is listed on the FTSE 100 and on the South African stock market, focused on mining copper and premium iron ore.

Anglo owns three of the top 10 copper mines in South America.

Although plans for Woodsmith have not been abandoned completely, Anglo suggested it was no longer a priority and said the company wanted to keep the “optionality” of the mine.

It said: “Anglo American has high confidence, backed by its proven track record in project delivery, to develop the Woodsmith project, which is currently on plan and on budget.”

Anglo has rejected two offers from BHP over the past few weeks, valuing the group first at £31.1bn and then at £34bn.

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