Last week, Anglo American (LSE:AAL) -- one of the largest mining companies in the world -- announced that it is halting iron ore and coal operations.
In this video segment, Sean O'Reilly, Tyler Crowe, and Taylor Muckerman talk about how this follows in the trail of the biggest players in this space recently, and what all this debt and trouble might mean for the industry.
A transcript follows the video.
This podcast was recorded on Feb. 18, 2016.
Sean O'Reilly: So, moving on to our next story, out of oil and into mining, it looks like the big guns in the mining space are basically feeling the pinch right now. A report just came out yesterday -- Anglo American is going to stop all iron ore and coal operations. What else do they do?!
Tyler Crowe: Well, Anglo, that's not their big thing. Anglo American is more of a diversified miner.
Crowe: They have a lot in platinum and copper, a couple other precious ... well, not precious, but more precious than iron ore and coal.
O'Reilly: Right, which is apparently everywhere or something. (laughs)
Crowe: And they're not a huge, huge contributor to the iron ore market, but they are one of the five largest mining companies in the world. And to see them ...
O'Reilly: Throw in the towel on two big commodities, yeah.
Crowe: And, what was it, just a few months ago, we watched Glencore (LSE:GLEN) almost look like they were going to go through the kind of death throes of the debt spiral. So, it's really, as we see these bigger and bigger companies starting to get into these debt issues and asset sales and to stop production and a lot of things, it's really telling as to what's going on. I mean, Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) just also mentioned that they're cutting their dividend.
O'Reilly: Who were the two --
Taylor Muckerman: And they were one of the strongest balance sheets in the business.
Muckerman: So, that's a surprise.
Crowe: Yeah, and BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), who has the strongest balance sheet in the business, actually had their credit rating downgraded.
Crowe: So, when you have the largest companies, the most profitable companies, seeing that, then you really know that we're ... somewhere, we have to be close to some sort of market turn on this, right?