Mining Industry: The Challenges and Trends: Ken Research


The year 2017 showed an overall positive growth for the mining industry that also reflected in 2018. Many factors contributed to this growth. The market saw a recovery in commodity prices. Companies revived their strategies for cost saving in the past few years, which had helped in strengthening the balance sheets. Also, the overall global economic growth improved that drove the industry. However, the investments in the industry remained low.

Mining Industry Major Projects Review-Q1 2018, a report by GlobalData gives a review of the major mining projects for the first quarter. It details out the developments that happened in the quarter for the ongoing projects as wells as the projects that commenced in the quarter. An in-depth analysis of the total development projects with respect to country, commodity and companies is also given. The report covers almost entire global geography i.e. Asia Pacific, North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Oceania and Former Soviet Union.

The sector is critical to the global economy. Almost all industries directly or indirectly are linked to mining in their value chains. From rare earths to the most exploited commodities like coal and iron ore, everything comes from mining. Yet the industry faces its own set of challenges. The prominent ones are its capital intensive nature and the price volatility. Any fluctuations in the global commodity prices results in the exploration process taking a hit. Added to this are the costs for advanced technological requirements to optimise the operations. Another contributing factor to the investors’ nervousness are the aging metal ores. Depleting resources and the need for deeper mines means more capital and more unpredictable returns. However, the current price recovery has helped strengthen investors’ confidence and the industry is experiencing a rise.

The companies have also started focussing on other aspects of the business. With cost saving being a constant part of the strategy, they are now focussing on things like increasing the operational safety at the sites. Companies are also consciously measuring the steps when it comes to engaging in aggressive investments. Experts believe that while the industry still has to deal with traditional business challenges; they need to shift their focus on effective digitalization of operations. Companies have already started moving in that direction but there is a long way to go.

The year 2018 is expected to show a positive growth for the industry globally. Companies will need to look at the future market opportunities. Disruptions are occurring across industries and if the mining sector keeps abreast to their needs, the opportunities are plenty. A good example of this is the EV revolution that have created a need for nickel, lithium, cobalt, etc. Companies will need to diversify their portfolios considering the future demand and commodities of future. The new developments that take place might witness a hint to the same.

The companies covered in the report are: Glencore plc, Rio Tinto, Anglo American Plc, Barrick Gold Corporation, Antofagasta Plc, Teck Resources Ltd, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, BHP Billiton Ltd, Ivanhoe Mines Ltd, Coal India Ltd, Votorantim S.A., Mitsubishi Corporation, Minera Costa Rica Dos, Platinum Group Metals Ltd, Mnombo Wethu Consultants CC

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