Mining group Anglo American Plc (AAL.L: Quote) (AGLJ.J: Quote) said on Wednesday it believes its borrowing level is sustainable.
In the current context, $11 billion of borrowing represents a significant sum, Chairman Mark Moody-Stuart said at the group's annual general meeting.
We believe it to be sustainable, against a background of halving our capital expenditure this year and aggressive targets for savings, he said.
Rival Xstrata (XTA.L: Quote) carried out a $5.9 billion rights issue in March, while Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote) (RIO.AX: Quote) is selling some assets in order to reduce debt.
In February, Anglo American scrapped its 2008 final dividend to conserve cash and said it will cut 19,000 jobs as it posted a weaker-than-expected 1 percent fall in profit. [ID:nLJ278974]
The company said it plans to identify a successor for Mark Moody-Stuart, who was due to step down in 2008, over the next 12 months. Chief Executive Cynthia Carroll called the 2008 results solid.
This year, in contrast, will be very different, against the background of the downturn in commodity prices and demand that began during the second half of last year, she said.
The miner said all of its projects, including its big three projects -- Minas-Rio, the Los Bronces expansion, and Barro Alto -- are well placed on their industry cost curves.
A number of mining companies have been forced to cut back production and slash spending on future projects as base metals demand and prices dropped.
Anglo American has slashed its capital expenditure by more than 50 percent to $4.5 billion.
The company reiterated that is on track to achieve savings of $1 billion by 2011. (Reporting by Julie Crust; Editing by David Holmes and David Cowell)© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved