The mining industry faces a confidence crisis. Low confidence in cost controls, return on capital and commodity prices are keeping industry leaders awake at night. To add to these concerns, the mining industry has recently stopped outperforming the broader equity markets—mining stocks fell nearly 20% in the first four months of 2013.
In response, miners are trying to rebuild the market’s confidence. Capital expenditures have been scaled back, hurdle rates are being increased and non-core assets are being disposed. There’s a shift from maximizing value by increasing production volumes to maximising returns from existing operations from improved productivity and efficiencies.
Regaining investor confidence depends on how the industry responds to its rising costs, increasingly volatile commodity prices and other challenges such as resource nationalism. Now is the time to show that the industry can deliver in good times and bad, and remain a good industry to operate in for many years to come.