Tracking the trends 2015

Keep calm and carry on

February 2015

The 2015 edition of Tracking the trends takes a look at the issues that miners will face in the coming year and outlines a wealth of potential responses proposed from Deloitte member firm’s mining professionals.

Welcome to the 2015 edition of Tracking the Trends, Deloitte’s view of the top 10 trends mining companies will face in the year ahead. Tracking the Trends is produced in consultation with Deloitte’s mining professionals around the globe, and is very relevant to the UK. 

Although we have very little domestic mining, London is a capital of global financing for mining companies of all sizes, including the majority of the majors.As such, the issues presented in this year’s Tracking the Trends are very applicable to London-listed and UK-headquartered mining houses. These include issues of operational performance; long-term viability; access to financing; finding and retaining the right talent; and engaging with stakeholders and governments. In addition to setting out the issues, we also present some high-level thoughts on the solutions that can be found to address them. The Deloitte UK Metals & Mining team looks forward to assisting you not just track the trends, but deal with them head-on.

Tracking the trends 2015

Executive summary

There is no doubt that mining companies operate in complex geographies where they face increasing challenges in responding to regulatory and compliance requirements. At the same time, they have an imperative to adapt to changing market conditions while adopting new innovations as they seek to produce more for less cost. These conditions remain regardless of whether we are in a downturn, or a recovering market.

Our aim is to spur frank discussion about the industry’s strengths and weaknesses without painting worse-case scenarios or donning rose-tinted glasses. We invite you to dig through the top ten issues mining companies will face in the coming year.

The issues

Mining companies continue to grapple with challenging market conditions, including price volatility, geopolitical turmoil, rising costs, declining grades, and a general lack of financing. To remain viable into the future, companies must get more adept at balancing short-term investor expectations with long-term business imperatives.

This report highlights that in order to embrace the need for longer-term thinking, mining companies are getting back to the basics to clarify what they stand for, what they believe, and what they plan to achieve long- term.

The ten issues identified in the report are:

  • Back to basics - The pursuit of operational excellence
  • Innovation is the new key to survival - It’s about more than cost control
  • The new energy paradigm - Reducing power project costs
  • Dwindling project pipelines - Walking the supply/demand tightrope
  • Financing’s great disappearing act - The implications reverberate across the market
  • Survival of the juniors - Navigating troubled waters
  • Seeking new skillsets - Shifting industry realities for a new generation of talent
  • Riding the waves of geopolitical uncertainty - From best guess planning to embracing uncertainty
  • Rising stakes around stakeholder engagement - Companies struggle to balance competing interests
  • Engaging with government - Finding new ways to communicate and collaborate
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