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Anglo American scraps its dividend and 85,000 jobs

The platinum miner has suspended its pay-outs for the second half of this year and for 2016

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Commodity prices remain low, impacting the firm

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Anglo American (LON:AAL) is scrapping its dividend for the first time in six years and cutting its workforce by 85,000 as part of a range of cost-cutting measures to combat weak commodity prices.

The platinum miner has suspended its pay-outs for the second half of this year and for 2016, it revealed in a statement on Tuesday.

When the dividend is restored, it will be as part of a ratio-based pay-out scheme allowing the company to adjust payments as profits rise or fall.

Anglo also announced it is looking to cut its number of staff to below 50,000 after 2017, from the 135,000 it currently employs.

The group is merging six businesses into three, including De Beers diamonds, industrial metals and bulk commodities. It will also combine its London office with that of De Beers in 2017.

Mark Cutifani, chief executive, said: “While we have continued to deliver our business restructuring and performance objectives across the board, the severity of commodity price deterioration requires bolder action.”

Other measures include the closure of its Thabazimbi iron mine in South Africa and the Snap Lake diamond mine in Canada.

The reduction in volume is expected to save the company around US$3.7bn per year.

Anglo is also upping the price for its phosphates and niobium divisions, which it intends to sell for US$4bn.

It is cutting capital spending by about a further US$1bn by the end of 2016.

The miner’s shares have plunged around 70% so far this year, the second highest on the top-share index, and were a further 3.5% or 13p lower on Tuesday to 355p.

Steep falls in commodity prices as China's economy falters have forced Anglo and rivals to step up the pace of production cuts and mine closures.

Also on Tuesday, Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) said its aluminium business will have reduced costs in 2015 by about US$300mln, cut capital spending by US$45mln and reduced working capital by about $400mln versus 2014. 

Quick facts: Anglo American PLC

Price: 1973.8 GBX

LSE:AAL
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £26.9 billion
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