Dec 14 Major miners this year have sold assets
and bolstered their balance sheets after a global commodities
rout last year left them with high levels of debt.
A recovery in raw materials prices has eased the pressure to
sell, as well as raising the price of any deal and transactions
China, whose stimulus package spurred this year's
commodities rally, is the biggest potential buyer.
Following is a list of the main mining companies, some of
the biggest sales so far and what assets are on offer:
BHP BILLITON LIMITED
Market capitalisation: 77.7 billion pounds ($99 billion)
Net debt: $26.1 billion (company reported in August)
Share price movement this year: up 78 percent (to close of
business on Dec. 14)
In 2015, it span off South32 to focus on its core
The world's largest exporter of metallurgical coal, BHP sold
its coal assets in Indonesia to partner Adaro Energy
for $120 million.
Together with Exxon Mobil Corp, BHP Billiton said it
is considering selling depleting energy assets in Australia,
including Kingfish, the country's largest discovered oilfield.
It has agreed to sell half of its stake in the Scarborough
area gas fields off Western Australia for $400 million.
Sources say BHP may also be seeking to buy some coal assets
from Anglo American.
RIO TINTO PLC
Market capitalisation: 59 billion pounds
Net debt: $12.9 billion (company reported in August)
Share price movement this year: up 60 percent
Rio has been seeking to offload less profitable businesses.
Last year, it agreed to sell its 40 percent stake in the
Bengalla coal mine in Australia to New Hope Corp for
In January, it agreed to sell its Mount Pleasant thermal
coal to Salim Group's MACH Energy Australia for $224 million.
Rio Tinto has also been running an on/off process to sell
its Hunter Valley assets although no deal has been struck.
The miner is shifting its emphasis to copper and said it
will no longer fund major expansions in iron ore as that market
At the end of October, it signed a deal to sell its stake in
Guinea's Simandou iron ore project to Chinalco for between $1.1
billion and $1.3 billion depending on the timing of the
Market capitalisation: 41 billion pounds
Net debt: $23.4 billion (company reported in August)
Share price movement this year: up 209 percent
Glencore said at the start of December it was on track to
cut its debt to between $16.5-$17.5 billion and had achieved
assets sales of $6.3 billion.
Also in December, it announced its first major acquisition
since the sell-off began as it used 300 million euros of its own
equity to acquire a stake in Russian state oil giant Rosneft
Following the deal, analysts said Glencore's investment was
low, it was getting 220,000 barrels per day (bpd) to trade and
the acquisition was in tune with its concern for an
investment-grade balance sheet.
Glencore's disposals this year include selling just under
half of its agricultural business to two Canadian funds for
$3.125 billion. At the same time, it shifted $3.6 billion in
debt over to Glencore Agri.
Glencore is also considering selling its Vasilkovskoye gold
mine in Kazakhstan, worth more than $2 billion, sources close to
the deal said.
In August it announced it was selling a 30 percent stake in
its Ernest Henergy copper mine in Australia as well as all the
gold produced as a byproduct.
Glencore is seeking to sell its Cobar copper mine in
It has abandoned plans to sell its Lomas Bayas mine in
But together with Origin Energy it has put its
hydropower business Energia Austral in Chile up for sale, two
people familiar with the process said.
In October, it agreed to sell its Australian coal haulage
business GRail to Genesee & Wyoming Inc for A$1.14
billion ($874 million).
Market capitalisation: 142 billion Brazilian reais
Net debt: $27.5 billion (company reported in July)
Share price movement this year: up 144 percent
The Brazilian miner has been hit with charges to cover and
repair damages after the Samarco dam collapsed at its iron ore
mine last year.
The world's biggest iron ore miner has been in talks with
Fortescue Metals Group that could see Vale taking a
minority stake in the Australian company and blending their iron
ore operations to win market share in China.
Vale has also handed its stake in Brazil's CSA steel plant
to majority owner Germany's ThyssenKrupp AG for a
At the start of July, it said it had sold three of its giant
"Valemax" iron ore ships to a group led by Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China for $269 million. It is
also seeking to sell other Valemax ships, also known as Very
Large Ore Carriers.
ANGLO AMERICAN PLC
Market capitalisation: 16.6 billion pounds
Net debt: $11.7 billion (company reported in July)
Share price movement this year: up 302 percent
The miner is aiming to cut its debt to $10 billion by
selling $3-4 billion of assets in 2016, including its iron ore,
coal and nickel units.
At the height of last year's commodity slump, it said it
would speed up a strategy to reduce the company to a handful of
core assets and said it would review its Minas-Rio iron ore
project in Brazil after three years.
In theory, the miner is still a seller, but only at the
right price and a surge in the coal market halted at least one
So far, Anglo American has sold its niobium and phosphate
businesses in Brazil to China Molybdenum for $1.5 billion.
It also sold its stake in Australia's Foxleigh metallurgical
coal mine to a consortium led by Taurus Funds Management for an
In July, Anglo American's De Beers unit said it was selling
its Snap Lake diamond mine in Canada after suspending operations
at the unprofitable mine last December.
Anglo is also seeking to sell nickel assets in Brazil,
including the Barro Alto and Codemin mines, although offers so
far had been too low to lead to a deal, sources have said.
In December, it sold a 9.7 percent stake in South African
Market capitalisation: $20.5 billion
Net debt: $17.9 billion (results presentation in October)
Share price movement this year: up 121 percent
Freeport-McMoRan said in October it did not expect to sell
any more mining assets but may offload more of its oil and gas
It could cut its net debt to as little as $10.5 billion by
the end of 2017 on already executed asset sales and cash it
expects to earn from higher mined volumes and metals prices, its
chief executive said in July.
The company has agreed to sell its majority stake in the
Tenke Fungurume copper project in the Democratic Republic of
Congo to China Molybdenum Co Ltd for $2.65 billion
in cash. Freeport has an effective 56 percent interest in Tenke,
one of the world's largest copper-cobalt deposits.
In October, it said it was selling its onshore California
oil and gas assets to Sentinel Peak Resources California for up
to $742 million.
In September it said it was selling its deepwater Gulf of
Mexico oil and natural gas assets to Anadarko Petroleum Corp
for $2 billion.
In February, it sold a 13 percent stake in the Morenci
open-pit copper mine to Japan's Sumitomo Metal Mining
for $1 billion.
Market capitalisation: 7.3 billion pounds
Group net debt: $1.04 billion (company reported in August)
Share price movement this year: up 53 percent
In July, the Chilean copper miner paid Barrick Gold Corp
$1 billion for 50 percent of the Zaldivar copper mine
in Chile, an asset once dubbed the "Andean ATM".
Antofagasta posted a slim rise in mid-year profit in August,
but has been struggling to meet copper output targets from its
FIRST QUANTUM MINERALS LTD
Market capitalisation: C$10.2 billion ($7.8 billion)
Net debt: $4.1 billion (results presentation in July)
Share price movement this year: up 184 percent
The Canadian miner sold Finnish mine Kevitsa to Boliden
in March, with the Swedish group paying $712 million.
The company had been seeking to reduce its debt levels by more
than $1 billion.
First Quantum said in April the uncertainty regarding its
ability to meet the net debt to EBITDA ratio covenant under its
debt financing agreements had been removed.
($1 = 0.7876 pounds)
($1 = 3.2007 Brazilian reais)
($1 = 1.3045 Australian dollars)
($1 = 1.3128 Canadian dollars)
(Updated by Barbara Lewis in London, editing by David Evans,
editing by David Evans)