The mining industry, the bedrock upon which the country was built, is going through something like an existential crisis. (Picture: Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
London - Global miner Anglo American [JSE:AGL] posted a
sharp drop in 2012 earnings, hit by tumbling earnings from all core units and
writedowns to the value of its troubled platinum assets and the flagship Minas
Rio iron ore project in Brazil.
Anglo came in within market forecasts with a 44% drop in
operating profit to $6.2bn, within the range of analyst forecasts. Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S had forecast $6.3bn, compared to the company-provided consensus
of $6.1bn. Underlying earnings fell 54% to $2.8bn.
After the impact of impairments, the loss attributable to
shareholders totalled $1.5bn.
The miner said last month it would write $4bn off the value
of its flagship Minas Rio iron ore project in Brazil, where permitting and
other delays have contributed to cost overruns that mean the project will cost
more than three times original estimates.
South African strikes, particularly in platinum, have been a
large part of Anglo's troubles; its Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] unit posted its
first annual loss earlier this month and said there could be more labour
disruption ahead as it pushes through a major overhaul.
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