Politics 29 January 2013 Anglo American's write down - not quite as bad as Rio Tinto's Miner setback. Print HTML Seems like all the mining giants are suffering write-downs at the moment. Earlier this month it was Rio Tinto, and now it's Anglo American, which has written down the value of its Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil by $4bn. This looks odd against the positive production figures that both companies posted in the last quarter - but the mining industry is cyclical - and the move anticipates a bit of a tougher season. So far only Rio Tinto have had to get rid of their chief exec though: their mistake - a $3bn writedown on an African coal project - was just too big. Cynthia Carroll of Anglo American is unlikely to see the same fate as Tom Albanese. Here's the FT: Ms Carroll’s mistake over Minas Rio in Brazil was more forgivable than Mr Albanese’s. She underestimated the ability of Brazilian bureaucracy to delay development work. But the mine remains a valuable asset, expected to produce ore at a cash cost of $30 a tonne compared with a forecast 2013 average sale price of $120. Mr Albanese overestimated the quality of Rio’s coal reserve in Mozambique. That undercut his credibility as a miner. But it's the season to be cautious. BHP have written down asset values, and there is speculation that Xtrata could be on its way. › Everyone has aspirations. We should focus on helping people achieve them Anglo American has suffered write downs. Photograph: Getty Images Subscribe from £1 a week Subscribe More Related articles UK equities: A logical proposition The case against TTIP There is radical potential in revitalising adult education – why are we letting it disappear?