Anglo-American to demerge South African coal assets

Anglo-American is to transfer its South African thermal coal assets into a new company, in a move to exit the polluting resource amid growing investor pressure.

The demerged company, Thungela, will list on the Johannesburg and London stock exchanges, Anglo-American said on Thursday. Thungela produced 16.5m tonnes of coal last year and has assets worth $1.3bn.

“As the world transitions towards a low-carbon economy, we must continue to act responsibly,” said Mark Cutifani, Anglo-American’s chief executive. “Our proposed demerger of what are precious natural resources for South Africa allows us to do exactly that.”

Mining companies have been under pressure to divest from coal mines. Rio Tinto sold its last coal mine in 2018 and BHP is also looking to exit its thermal coal business.

Anglo-American investors will each receive one share in Thungela for every 10 Anglo-American shares they hold, the company said.