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It was déjà vu for Anglo American CEO Duncan Wanblad, who was once again batting away questions at the firm’s annual investor update last week about the feasibility of its $4.8bn bet on the Woodsmith fertiliser minerals project, on which it is spending $1bn a year. 

When would Anglo syndicate the project, analysts asked again and again. It had done so with Quellaveco, the group’s last major capital project before Woodsmith, selling 40% to Japan’s Mitsubishi group. Said Wanblad in response to analyst questions: “At the right time and for value.” ..

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