$ 1.9b slug for miner
BHP Billiton spin- off South32 will take a writedown of $ US1.9 billion on its manganese and coal businesses after suspending capacity at its South African smelter. The company said the decision was taken in response to challenging market conditions during the June quarter. Manganese is essential to steel and aluminium production, but weaker Chinese demand has kept prices low. The non- cash, pre- tax impairments include $ US445 million at Australia Manganese, $ US882 million at South Africa Manganese and $ US539 million at the Wolvekrans Middelburg complex ( WMC) within South Africa Energy Coal.