In the face of slumping commodity prices, Anglo American announced a restructuring plan that it says is designed to shrink the miner’s portfolio from 55 assets to between 20 and 25.
Anglo American said in a statement, that the aim is to “transform the company’s competitive position and create a more resilient business to deliver sustainable shareholder returns.”
To achieve these goals, the company plans to reduce its assets by 60 percent. The firm says it will eventually be left with around 50,000 employees, down from the current 135,000.
“While we have continued to deliver our business restructuring and performance objectives across the board, the severity of commodity price deterioration requires bolder action,” said Chief Executive Mark Cutifani.
The USA Today reported that James Wyatt-Tilby, a company spokesman, reiterated that Anglo American is “not cutting 85,000 jobs. We will be radically restructuring our portfolio, so the net result is expected to be a reduction to around 50,000 employees. But bear in mind that these include assets that we will sell, so the 85,000 jobs don’t disappear as many will be employed by new owners of those mines that we sell."
Cutifani said the firm will consolidate its six business units into three — De Beers, Industrial Metals and Bulk Commodities.
The details of the firm’s future portfolio will be set out in February, he added.
The company is also suspending its dividend payments for the balance of 2015 and 2016. Anglo American shares dived nearly 9 percent after the announcement.