Anglo to keep Australian coal mines not already up for sale

The Anglo American logo is seen in Rusternburg October 5, 2015. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A number of Anglo American Plc AAL.L-operated coal mines in Australia will be spared from a far-reaching global restructuring underway that could lead to 85,000 job losses and billions of dollars in asset sales.

Anglo American is still pursuing the sale of four coal mines put on the block in late 2014 and early 2015, but had no plans to add to the list, said Vanessa Davies, a spokeswoman for the company’s Australian division on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Anglo American, the world’s fifth-biggest global miner by market value, said it planned to offload three-fifths of its assets, reducing its workforce to just 50,000 from 135,000 now.

“We’d already made the decision on asset sales long before yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) announcement”, Davies said. “We have no intention to put further assets up for sale.”

Anglo American, one of the world’s largest coal producers, has placed its Dawson, Foxleigh, Callide and Dartbrook mines up for sale.

If sold, Anglo would still hold four mines peppering the Australian east coast producing metallurgical coal used in steelmaking.

The overhaul at Anglo American highlights the scale of the fallout from the commodities slide, which is forcing mining companies across the board to rethink job numbers and capital spending.

It is scheduled to give more details on its future global portfolio in February.

Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Christian Schmollinger