Aug 18, 2017 Last Updated 2:35 PM, Aug 17, 2017

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South32 launches $655 million buyback

Coal fire in opencast coal mineAusBNAusBN - Perth-based base metal miner South32 (LSE:S32) will launch a AUS$655 million on-market share buyback in an encouraging sign that the firm is benefitting from the recovery in commodity prices.

The diversified miner said the year-long buyback will return the equivalent of 4.5% of its capitalisation based on its closing share price for last week.

Chief executive Graham Kerr said: "Our net cash balance continues to build giving us the financial strength and flexibility to invest in our existing operations, pursue opportunities where we can create value and return excess capital to shareholders."

South32 is the world’s largest producer of manganese ore and was born out of a BHP Billiton (LSE:BLT) spin-off in 2015.

The company also produces coal, nickel, silver, lead, bauxite, aluminium and zinc in its operations across Africa and Australia.

South32 reported a first-half profit result of US$620 million in February, a further indication of the company’s revitalisation after the end of the recent commodity price crash.  

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