By Rhiannon Hoyle 

SYDNEY-- South32 Ltd., the Australian-based miner spun out of BHP Billiton Ltd. last year, said it is considering buying Anglo American PLC out of two manganese ventures the pair jointly own.

London-listed Anglo American, which is offloading a raft of unwanted assets, has signaled its interest in exiting manganese--mostly used in steel and aluminum production--as it narrows its focus to diamonds, platinum and copper.

Anglo American owns 40% of the two ventures, Gemco in Australia's Northern Territory and Samancor Holdings in South Africa. South32, which owns the other 60%, operates both businesses.

"As a [joint-venture] partner with a deep understanding of their value, we would be a buyer if the price is right," South32 said on Thursday in an emailed statement.

"We have a good relationship with our joint-venture partner and they've communicated their intentions," the statement went on. A spokeswoman was unable to comment further on discussions between the two companies.

On Tuesday, Anglo American, seeking to shore up its balance sheet as the commodity downturn deepens, said it plans to reduce the number of mining operations it runs to 16 from 45.

A spokesman for Anglo American couldn't immediately be reached.

Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 18, 2016 04:44 ET (09:44 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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