Anglo American's new chairman lays out his key priorities

Courtney Goldsmith
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Stuart Chambers started his role as chairman today (Source: Anglo American)

Stuart Chambers, the new chairman of Anglo American, has said the mining giant still has progress to make in terms of debt reduction and dividends following the downturn in the commodities market.

In a video clip posted on Twitter, Chambers said the company had made a "fantastic amount" of progress since the commodities price crash in 2015 and 2016 in terms of efficiency and productivity.

"But the job's not finished," Chambers said. "We have debt reduction targets still to achieve. I don't think it will take us much longer, but we must not give up on it.

"Despite having reintroduced dividends, we need to make further progress, and we will," he added.

The miner resumed dividend payments six months ahead of schedule in July after it reduced net debt to $6.2bn (£4.7bn) in the first half of the year, ahead of a target to cut debt to $7bn by the end of the year.

Chambers added that there was "no excuse" for Anglo not to operate its assets "in the best way we know how", so further progress on efficiency and cost was important.

He also said a big focus in terms of growth would be on Quellaveco, the company's huge copper project in Peru. "A real priority is to define that project very, very comprehensively and well and be prepared and ready to execute from next year.

"It's going to be a significant financial commitment and therefore one we have to get right."

In a separate video, Chambers said he wanted to do more to attract graduates in the next five to 10 years.

Read more: Anglo American's new chairman is set to face shareholder questions

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