Mining giant Anglo American plc, the global mining company seeking to reverse a slump in earnings, has appointed fund manager Jim Rutherford to its board as it reviews operations to save cash.

Revealing this here, Anglo American said in a statement that Rutherford had worked for 16 years at Capital Group investing in the mining and metals industry. He starts his new role immediately, reports Bloomberg News.

CEO Mark Cutifani, who replaced Cynthia Carroll in April, is reviewing projects from Australia to Brazil in pursuit of savings and cash-flow gains. Underlying earnings fell 54% in 2012 as commodity prices slid and costs rose, and are likely to fall again this year, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company, which has identified 15 assets for possible divestment, withdrew from the Pebble copper project in Alaska in September, leading to a US$300 million charge. Anglo also said today it had completed the sale of its Amapa iron-ore mine in Brazil, with buyer Zamin Ferrous Limited paying US$134 million in cash and as much as US$130 million over five years.

Anglo’s largest Brazilian iron-ore venture is the US$8.8 billion Minas-Rio development, which was subject to a US$4 billion write-down following cost overruns that preceded Carroll’s departure. While the company announced earlier this year that it was seeking a partner for the mine, Cutifani said last month it may be content to keep full ownership as iron-ore prices recover.

Anglo shares rose 2.4% to 1,494.5 pence by the close in London. They have declined 21% this year.

The CEO is targeting a total annual cash-flow gain of US$1.3 billion, he said in July.

Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.

Picture: Fund manager Jim Rutherford ‒ appointed to assist Anglo American in reversing its slump in earnings.