Anglo American announced it has reached an agreement with China Molybdenum Co. Ltd (CMOC) to sell its niobium and phosphates businesses for $1.5 billion in cash. The wholly owned niobium and phosphates businesses are located in the states of Goiás and São Paulo, in Brazil. The phosphates business consists of a mine, beneficiation plant, two chemical complexes and two further mineral deposits. The niobium business consists of one mine and three processing facilities, two non-operating mines, two further mineral deposits and sales and marketing operations in the United Kingdom and Singapore. Together, the businesses generated EBITDA of $146 million in 2015.

“This is another positive step forward in the strategic reshaping of Anglo American that we set out in February,” said Mark Cutifani, CEO for Anglo American. “The proceeds from this transaction, together with the ongoing productivity and cost improvements we are driving through the business, will enable us to continue to reduce our net debt toward our targeted level of less than $10 billion at the end of 2016.”

The transaction is conditional upon customary People’s Republic of China regulatory approvals, and the approval of CMOC shareholders. Anglo American received binding commitments from the two major CMOC shareholders holding 63% of CMOC shares to support the deal. It is expected to close in the second half of 2016.

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