Anglo American Plc was forced to rely on profit from iron ore and copper as its fabled De Beers unit reported its weakest earnings since Anglo took control of the business almost a decade ago.
While the world’s biggest mining companies have so far been comparatively unscathed by the global pandemic as demand from China holds up and many of the most important mines continue to operate, it’s been a different story for diamonds. Sales plunged in the US — the most important market — and trading hub India has also been hit hard.
Anglo is the most diversified of the big miners. While most commodities are closely tied to China’s fortunes, the diamonds and platinum Anglo mines are less exposed to the country. That’s been a major benefit in recent years, but is now hurting the company. Anglo reported first-half underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $3,35 billion last Thursday, 39 percent lower than a year earlier. Its debt rose to $7,6 billion as it spends on building new mines. — Bloomberg.