The Wall Street Journal: Anglo American warns of hit from slide in commodity prices

Bloomberg

LONDON — Anglo American PLC is set to incur noncash impairment charges when it reports its full-year results next month, reflecting the toll the slump in commodity prices is taking on the global mining industry.

Anglo American AAL, +2.06% the world’s fifth largest diversified miner by market capitalization, didn’t provide further details of the scale of the financial hit which it blamed on falling coal and iron-ore prices. But Wednesday’s warning echoes recent announcements by other large mining companies.

Anglo American has been ramping up production of iron ore, the main raw material used in steel making, amid falling prices as economic growth, particularly in China, slows. Anglo produced 13.1 million tons of iron ore in the fourth quarter, a 16% increase from the same period in 2013.

Rio Tinto PLC RIO, +0.56% RIO, +0.21% RIO, +0.32%  and BHP Billiton Ltd. BLT, +0.18% BHP, -0.39% BHP, -0.03% two of the world’s three biggest producers, also released figures last week showing that iron ore output had expanded even as iron ore prices halved over the past year to lows last seen in 2009.

An expanded version of this article appears at WSJ.com.


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