For the first time, the gold miner has started to talk about value as it tries to repel hostile bidder Harmony. That s good. But there are two problems. The approach is inconsistent with recent strategy. It is also partly valuedestructive.
It is a good time to be miner, especially one with mediocre assets. Xstrata would like to grow, but does not want to buy at the peak. It is starting to act as if it thinks the good times will last. But don't imagine that the mining group's expansionary management has abandoned acquisition ambitions. The buyback is reversible. And Xstrata thinks the commodity price boom will endure. So it's probably only a matter of time before it's sniffing out another big deal.