It made a pre-tax loss of $239 million compared with a $10.8 billion profit in 2011.
Last month, the mining giant said it would write off $4 billion after a review of its Minas-Rio project in Brazil.
The company has also been affected by platinum strikes in South Africa.
In January, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), which is 80 percent owned by Anglo, announced plans to close some operations, sell one mine in South Africa and cut 14,000 jobs.
The net loss is Anglo American's first in more than a decade as the London-listed miner was also hurt by a sharp fall in global commodity prices.
"As a result of markedly weaker commodity prices, ongoing cost pressures and an operating loss in our platinum business, Anglo American reported an underlying operating profit of $US6.2 billion, a 44 percent decrease," said outgoing Anglo chief executive Cynthia Carroll (pictured).
"We recorded impairments totalling $4.6 billion (post-tax) in relation to Minas-Rio and a number of platinum projects that are uneconomical, which is disappointing," Carroll added.
"In platinum, we completed our review in January 2013 and have put forward proposals to create a sustainable, competitive and profitable platinum business.
"We, of course, regret the potential impact on jobs and communities and have designed an extensive social plan to more than offset any such impact."
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