Vedanta buys Anglo assets

INDIAN mining giant Vedanta has bought Anglo American’s zinc assets for $1.34bn (£871m) in a move that consolidates its position as the world’s largest integrated producer of zinc and lead.

Vedanta will become the world's largest zinc producer, with 11 per cent of the global market, after buying the assets, including the Skorpion mine in Namibia, lisheen in Ireland and Black Mountain in South Africa.

“These high quality assets complement Vedanta's existing portfolio, creating the largest zinc and lead producer in the world,” said chairman Anil Agarwal.

The sale for Anglo is one step on a divestment programme that seeks trim its portfolio and focus on key commodities, such as copper, iron ore and platinum.

Cynthia Carroll said chief executive of Anglo: “This agreement represents an important milestone in our strategy to focus on our core commodity businesses and on the delivery of our exciting near-term growth from our $17bn of approved projects.”

Last week the Indian mining giant recorded earnings of $2.3bn (£1.5bn), a rise of 42 per cent from the previous year. Zinc, which gained 80 per cent in value during Vedanta’s fiscal year, was a big contributor to Vedanta’s profits.

It said it was confident about ongoing demand due to buoyant economies in China, India and Brazil.

● Vedanta, India’s largest non-ferrous metals and mining company, is FTSE 100 listed.

● It entered the iron ore business in April 2007 after acquiring fellow Indian company Sesa Goa. Its core business is still metals production.