Anglo American, the London-headquartered multinational once known as South Africa Inc, still gets its biggest profit contribution from this country, but South America is where the bulk of its investment in new mines is headed.
More than half of the $19billion total capital expenditure for approved projects listed in yesterday's interim results presentation are for Anglo's South American operations. Investments listed for its South African operations accounted for less than 30percent of its total expansion plans.
Anglo has gone out of its way to be seen publicly supporting government's controversial Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act which has been widely blamed for making South Africa an unattractive investment destination for mining groups.
For instance, Cynthia Carroll, Anglo's chief executive, said yesterday: "In April, the South African Department of Minerals and Energy granted new order mining rights across our South African mining operations.
"This significant achievement provides an ever stronger platform for our $8 billion of approved projects in South Africa, our employees, contractors and for the many black empowered businesses with which we are partners. This is good news for Anglo American and for South Africa as we continue to grow our businesses and contribute to the country's economic prosperity."
But the focus on South American expansion indicates Anglo too may be avoiding investing in this country.