South32 Reduces Asset’s Book Value Of $1.7B, Cuts South African Manganese Production And Jobs

February 5
3:13 AM 2016

After the fall down of commodity price, the world's biggest manganese company, South32 Ltd., hopes to reduce asset's book value of $1.7 billion, cut expenses and shrink production. The company's supply is now setting out toward its largest increase in the last nine months.

Said on Thursday as stated by Bloomberg, there will be around 620 occupations to be slashed at its South Africa's manganese joint venture. South32 is also still finishing plans to reduce costs at its Australia's coal, alumina and manganese operations. It is expected that the cutting will save its yearly expenses up to $1 billion, as indicated by Deutsche Bank AG.

Evan Lucas, a business sector strategist at IG Ltd. in Melbourne, mentioned by phone, "There's been an overhanging inquiry of what they were going to do with a few operations that were unmistakably a drag." He said that the cuts in employments and costs are going to be "hard to swallow if you are an employee, but it's a positive step."

There has been a 9.5 percent increase on its stock, which reaches $1.04 in Sydney trading, and it is the highest since May 19. Chief Executive Officer, Graham Kerr said that the company "is not immune to external influences and the significant change in the outlook for commodity prices is expected to result in non-cash charges of approximately $1.7 billion."   

According to Reuters, the most part of the writedowns cover its Australian manganese business and vitality coal in South Africa. Last November when it was still evaluating the business, South32 suspended mining at the Hotazel mines. Now, it has decided to start the production again at a lower volume of 2.9 million tons a year, which will eliminate around 900,000 tons a year from the global trade.

The action will slash 23 percent of the costs in South Africa, cut 620 jobs across the joint venture co-owned by Anglo American Plc, and save approximately 80 percent of the capital expenditure next year.

The company mentioned in a statement as stated in the Sydney Morning Herald, "Our teams are currently finalizing plans that will deliver a meaningful reduction in costs at Illawarra metallurgical coal, Cerro Matoso, Worsley Alumina and Australian Manganese. These initiatives are expected to result in a substantial reduction in employee numbers during the remainder of FY16."

Since June 2015, the company has evaluated the South African manganese business for six months with three of the four fumaces at the Metalloys smelter being closed for the time being. It is unclear for how long the three fumaces will stay inactive, but it will reduce up to 23 percent its manganese mine production in South Africa.

Cost decrease, jobs cut, and production reduction are expected to strengthen the company's growth. By consolidating with the restructuring activities that are right now being settled at its numerous operations, it will reinforce the financial condition and add more earnings in the business 

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