Big Mining in Big Trouble
By James West
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Major mining companies’ takeover party of the last few years is starting to yield a globalized hangover of epic scope. Many of the world’s top producers of primary materials have found that the belle of the ball they danced with and wed in better times has turned into a debt anchor chained to their balance sheets.
According to Tom Albanese, CEO, “We will minimize our operating and capital costs to appropriately low levels until we see credible and meaningful signs of a recovery in our markets, but will retain our strategic growth options. We will expand further the scope of assets we are targeting for divestment. By taking these tough decisions now we will be well positioned when the recovery comes.
“Notwithstanding the current financial turmoil, we continue to enjoy a suite of key assets which operate in the lower half of the cost curve in their industries, and our suite of growth assets remains capable of re-activation as soon as market conditions justify.””
Rio is in a better position than Canadian poly-metallic miner Teck Corp. (NYSE:TCK).