South32, an Australian-headquartered, diversified mining company listed on the JSE, has tended to take the back seat when it comes to the commodity price euphoria attached to mining shares.
This is probably down to the fact that it doesn’t have the minerals and metals – namely iron ore and copper – that’s been causing the stir in the mining universe. Instead, South32 produces things like aluminium and metallurgical coal, and until recently, the unpopular thermal coal. It does, though, mine nickel and zinc in Colombia and Australia respectively.
The share’s popularity, however, could be due for an upswing if Graham Kerr, CEO of South32, is right that there are grounds for an improvement in the aluminium price. There has been major demand for aluminium, but equally significant supply, especially from China. Beijing’s drive to improve carbon emissions, however, will retard the country’s ability to respond to future aluminium demand peaks.