The global mining industry is showing increasing signs of renewed optimism due to commodity prices being on the rise, growth returning to markets providing better cost positions in comparison to recent years. Measures to restructure balance sheets were executed quickly and efficiently, and as the year progressed, commodity prices made a strong recovery. With miners staging a resurgence in equity markets in 2016 and major offtake markets showing improvement, concerns are easing and growth of the industry is back on track.
Analysts currently forecast that by 2019, the global metals and mining industry is set to reach a value of circa US$2,753 billion; an increase of 13.5% since 2014. The compound annual growth rate of the industry in the period 2014-19 is predicted to be 2.6% (Digital Transformation of Global Mining). Recent analysis from UBS also suggests the top miners will generate circa US$55 billion of excess cash over the next three years.
Mining operations can be grouped into five major categories in terms of their respective resources:
- Coal mining
- Metal ore mining
- Non metallic mineral mining and quarrying
- Mining support activities
- Unconventional Oil and Gas – Shale Gas and Coal Seam Methane Gas (CSM)
Leading mining countries include, but are not limited to, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Canada, China, Guinea, India, Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, and South Africa. Major mining countries include those where the sector is highly relevant domestically, either because it primarily serves large domestic markets, such as the United States, or because it employs millions of workers, such as China or India. There are also a number of rapidly growing mining countries to monitor, these include Argentina, Mozambique and The Middle East with countries such as Oman and KSA.
Various other industries such as major propriety equipment manufacture, support the mining industry throughout the world. These manufacturing companies play a pivotal role in the effective delivery of major capital projects whilst their skills and expertise are vital in ensuring operational effectiveness is being realised.