Business

Anglo American to shed 85,000 jobs and sell units as commodity swoon rolls on

Shares in the mining firm Anglo American plunged by more than 8 per cent after it said it would shed around 85,000 employees — or 63 per cent of its workforce — amid a radical restructuring program meant to cope with the tumble in commodities prices.

Mining company to suspend dividend payments, reduce its assets by 60 per cent

A worker walks past a board outside Anglo American offices in Johannesburg, on August 21, 2015. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)

Shares in the mining firm Anglo American plunged by more than 8 per cent after it said it would shed around 85,000 employees — or 63 per cent of its workforce — amid a radical restructuring program meant to cope with the tumble in commodities prices.

Anglo American owns 85 per cent of De Beers, which announced Friday it was closing its Snap Lake diamond mine in the Northwest Territories, putting 434 people out of work. De Beers Canada CEO Kim Truter blamed market forces and a persistent water issue at the mine for the closure, saying the operation would remain "unviable for many years to come."

Now it's emerging that's all part of larger cutbacks at the parent Anglo American.

CEO Mark Cutifani says in statement Tuesday that commodity price deterioration requires "bolder action," than described previously. The share price fell to 338.80 pence ($5.08 US) as markets digested the news.

The company will suspend dividend payments and reduce its assets by 60 per cent. It will also consolidate from six to three businesses. Some $5 billion of cost and productivity improvements are underway and set to be completed by 2017.

Cutifani also confirmed Anglo will sell the phosphates and niobium businesses during 2016.

with files from CBC News

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