South32: CrapCo no more

Quality assets and sensible management should deliver South32's first dividend.

Some call them dreamers; others, fools. It takes a special individual to decide to strip unseen minerals beneath the earth, a task that demands copious upfront capital and promises uncertain and volatile returns. Yet the one trait that unites all miners is sunny optimism. Their job is to conquer nothing less than the earth itself.

Not so South32. The youngest major miner in the world started life not among hope and optimism but with scorn and condescension. CrapCo, they called it.

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