• Climate change update

    We need to cast off yesterday's ideas and put earth's wellbeing first, says Mandi Smallhorne.

  • Lessons from KPMG

    KMPG has learnt the hard lesson that SA is fed up with corruption, says David Everatt.

  • Terry Bell's Inside Labour

    Will it be man vs machine in the scary self-service future into which we are all being dragged?


Tough times ahead for new Anglo CEO

Nov 14 2012 07:27

Striking Amplats mineworkers. (Lucky Nxumalo, City Press

Company Data


Last traded 344
Change -2
% Change -1
Cumulative volume 262133
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA


Last traded 237
Change -2
% Change -1
Cumulative volume 2299825
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA


Last traded 215
Change 0
% Change 0
Cumulative volume 1187117
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

Related Articles

Investors dump Anglo

Minas Rio unlikely to cost less than $8bn

Sacked miners get time to reclaim jobs

Amplats miners: We'd rather die

Xmas without Carroll

I believe in SA, says Anglo CEO

Johannesburg - Miner Anglo American [JSE:AGL] gave the market a taste of the trouble ahead for its new chief executive, raising cost estimates for its Minas Rio project and warning of lower profits from South African iron ore.

The Minas Rio iron ore project in Brazil is now expected to cost at least three times the original estimate.

Meanwhile, Anglo's majority-owned - and normally lucrative - Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO] said in a statement minutes later on Tuesday that it expected full-year profit to drop at least 20%.

Kumba alone contributed almost half of Anglo's operating profit for the first half of 2012.

The double-whammy took Anglo's underperforming shares more than 4% lower in morning trade. At 15:52, the shares were down 3.5%.

"It is difficult to see light at the end of the tunnel for Anglo American," Citi analysts said in a note.

Last month Anglo announced the long-expected departure of its chief executive, Cynthia Carroll, and began the search for a replacement to take on what analysts and investors say is one of the toughest jobs in the business.

Her departure was blamed in part on Minas Rio, a 2008 attempt at diversification that turned out to be a tough, top-of-the-cycle deal.

String of delays

The Brazilian project has been hit by a string of delays and cost overruns. The miner - not alone in suffering from Brazil's permitting process - said that it would now carry out a cost review, including an independent assessment commissioned by the board.

The total cost is "unlikely" to be less than $8bn, the higher end of analyst forecasts, Anglo said.

Analysts have long said that spending at the Brazilian project could rise to at least $8bn from the most recent Anglo forecast of $5.8bn, already twice its original estimate.

Anglo did not alter its 2014 estimated production start date, but analysts expect it could run into the following year.

"Including the $6bn purchase price, Minas Rio is now a minimum $14bn investment," Liberum analysts said in a note. "While a blowout was anticipated, the market will still take today's news badly."

Anglo has also been pummelled by strikes at platinum operation Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] (Amplats), the world's largest producer of the precious metal.

It warned on Tuesday that 70%-owned Kumba was also still counting the cost of wildcat strikes. Combined with lower prices, the effect would drag down full-year profit by a fifth, the company said

Mounting strike costs

The profit warning underlines the mounting costs of a wave of often violent strikes that have swept South Africa's mines.

Kumba, one of the world's top 10 iron ore producers and Africa's largest, lost about 2.6 million tonnes of finished product at Sishen, where an illegal occupation halted operations for more than 2 weeks.

Operations resumed on October 20, but the company said that output was still being hampered by low attendance, which it said was caused by intimidation and threats to workers.

Kumba had been thought safe from the strike contagion because, in December, employees with at least five years' service were each given a lump sum of about R345 000 after tax as part of a share scheme.

The payments, overseen by Chris Griffith, now Amplats' CEO and touted as a candidate for Anglo chief executive, represented a fortune to workers earning as little as R7 000 a month.

"I think Kumba is one of the better assets for Anglo and is one of the companies with better expectations going forward," said Abri du Plessis, chief investment officer of Gryphon Asset Management in Cape Town.

"A new (Anglo) CEO is not going to have different problems from anyone else operating mines here. The labour problems will be sorted out countrywide and sector wide."

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The SARB’s Monetary Policy Committee will decide on the next move in interest rates tomorrow will they?

Previous results · Suggest a vote