Anglo American is withdrawing from the Pebble copper project in Alaska.

The JSE– and LSE-listed company has not provided much detail on the announcement, merely stating that “Anglo American will provide further updates as appropriate.”

Nevertheless, Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American has acknowledged that “Pebble is a deposit of rare magnitude and quality,” but says “We have taken the decision to withdraw following a thorough assessment of Anglo American’s extensive pipeline of long-dated project options.”

He adds that: “Our focus has been to prioritise capital to projects with the highest value and lowest risks within our portfolio, and reduce the capital required to sustain such projects during the pre-approval phases of development as part of a more effective, value-driven capital allocation model.”

The project will continue under the sole ownership of Northern Dynasty Minerals. Anglo American expects to record an impairment charge of $0.3bn at 31 December 2013 on a post-tax basis.

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