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Mining giant BHP promises to invest in the South African economy as it seeks support for Anglo’s bid

LONDON (AP) — Australian mining giant BHP Group pledged Wednesday to invest in the South African economy as it seeks support for a 38.6 billion pound ($49.3 billion) bid to take over Anglo American, which was founded in the country more than a century ago. remains one of the largest employers.

London-based Anglo American rejected BHP’s latest bid last week, raising concerns about its complex structure. The proposed deal would require Anglo American to spin off two South African units, Anglo American Platinum and Kumba Iron Ore, as BHP looks to focus on copper and other products expected to benefit from a transition to green energy.

BHP said on Wednesday that the South African government and economy would benefit from Anglo Platinum and Kumba Iron becoming independent companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. It has also made a series of commitments to invest in South Africa and support charitable projects in the country.

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“BHP believes its proposal will contribute to South Africa and enable the benefits of South African mining to be shared with more South African stakeholders,” the company said in a statement.

The latest chapter in the takeover battle came as South Africans went to the polls in the country’s most important election since the end of white minority rule three decades ago. High unemployment, persistent inequality and poverty affecting the black majority are key issues in an election that could see the ruling African National Congress lose its parliamentary majority for the first time.

BHP said it would maintain current employment levels at Anglo American’s Johannesburg office and continue to fund the company’s charitable activities in South Africa if the acquisition goes through.

The company also pledged to list its own shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and establish a mining center of excellence to support research and development and promote the country’s mining industry.

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