Anglo American announces slow down of Whitby area's Woodsmith mining project

Anglo American's Woodsmith site at Sneaton, near Whitby.Anglo American's Woodsmith site at Sneaton, near Whitby.
Anglo American's Woodsmith site at Sneaton, near Whitby.
The development of the Woodsmith mining project in the Whitby area will slow to support Anglo American’s balance sheet from deleveraging.

The announcement follows completion of the firm’s asset review initiated during 2023, and it now plans to implement a number of major changes to its portfolio to accelerate delivery against its strategic priorities of operational excellence, portfolio simplification and growth.

Anglo American has also just rejected a second takeover bid, reported as in the national press as £34bn, from Australian firm BHP.

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The board considered the latest proposal with its advisers and concluded that “it continues to significantly undervalue Anglo American and its future prospects.”

"Aside from significantly undervaluing Anglo American, the latest proposal continues to contemplate a structure which the board believes is highly unattractive for Anglo American’s shareholders, given the uncertainty and complexity inherent, and significant execution risks,” the company added.

Speaking on today’s announcement, Tom McCulley, CEO of Anglo American’s Crop Nutrients business, said: “Anglo American has again stated today that Woodsmith is central to its growth plans as a Tier 1 resource – entirely aligned with the demand trends of decarbonisation and food security.

“We have been progressing the project on time and on budget but have decided to slow development in the near term.

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"I’m incredibly proud of the progress we have made so far, the positive impact on the area and the partnerships we have built in our communities, which we will continue to engage positively with.

“Anglo American continues to recognise Woodsmith’s unique resource and long-term value potential and will complete critical technical studies in 2025 to then enable syndication for value with one or more strategic partners.

“We need to work out the full details of this slow down over the coming weeks as we reduce activity while retaining optionality for the long term.

“A key aspect of this will be to continue adhering to our planning obligations with the North York Moors National Park Authority and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

“I know that this announcement will create uncertainty, but we will keep our workforce and community stakeholders updated as we work through the detail of what this means for everyone.”

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