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Anglo American inks US$1.5B sale of Brazilian niobium, phosphates assets to China Molybdenum

Anglo AmericanPlc has agreed to sell its niobium and phosphates businesses in Brazilfor a total US$1.5 billion in cash to a subsidiary of China Molybdenum Co. Ltd.

According to the April 28 statement, the company has receivedbinding commitments from the two major China Molybdenum shareholders owning 63%shares to support the transaction.

CEO Mark Cutifani said proceeds of the sale will allow Angloto reduce its debt to the "targetedlevel of less than US$10 billion at the end of 2016."

The phosphates business includes the Chapadao mine, the Ouvidor beneficiation plant,the Catalão and Cubatão chemical complexes, and the Coqueiros and Morro Preto deposits.

The niobium business consists of the Boa Vista mine, the Boa Vista plant and metallurgicalplant, the Boa Vista Fresh Rock plant and the tailings plant, two nonoperating mines,the Area Leste and Morro do Padre deposits, and sales and marketing operations inthe U.K. and Singapore.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of thisyear.

"By pursuing this transaction, we solidify our leadershipposition in specialized alloys while establishing a meaningful strategic positionin Brazil and South America," said Li Chaochun, China Molybdenum chairman andexecutive director, in a statement.

Earlier reports suggestedthat bidders short-listed for Anglo's niobium and phosphate assets included and Eurochem Group AG,as well as a group led by Vale SA.