South32, a globally diverse mining company, wrapped up a $1.3bn cash deal to buy the whole of Arizona Mining in the US. The JSE-listed company is also hiving off its South African coal business. South32 is another major mining company stepping back from the South African coal sector, particularly if it is linked to Eskom, the state power utility. Anglo American has already sold all its Eskom-linked collieries to new black-owned Seriti Resources, while BHP, the world’s largest diversified mining company, unbundled assets it did not want into newly created South32, which included all its South African assets, including the collieries. Much like Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani, South32 CEO Graham Kerr has said the company wished to distance itself from Eskom supply contracts and that the local coal business would be set up and managed as a stand-alone business separate to South32, with a view to a change in control at some point.

Given Eskom’s demands for 51% black-owned coal supplies fo...

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