Mining companies are in a stronger position now than they were at the beginning of the year, according to PwC Canada’s new mining report Beyond the downturn: A focus on financial discipline and innovation in Canadian mining. With fluctuating commodity prices, the top priorities for Canadian mining companies in 2017 are capital allocation, strategic deal making, and employing new technology and innovations in support of creating a more sustainable future.
According to the report, a growing commitment to sustainability and engaging in strong and meaningful community relations is key to redefining the identity of an industry in the midst of transformation as it strives towards a more certain future.
“Investors and mining companies continuously assess risk and their level of agility in managing identified risk,” says Liam Fitzgerald, National Mining Leader, PwC Canada. “The recent prolonged downturn unearthed many vulnerabilities, such as the use of antiquated technologies; however, this presents an opportunity to invest in innovation.”
The downturn in commodity prices provided a unique platform for mining companies to adopt new practices in an effort to reduce costs by optimizing their entire production cycle. A crucial part of reducing risk, sustainability efforts are now helping mining companies create new value by reducing cost while enhancing their license to operate.
Mining companies among the top 25 have already made significant innovative changes to the way they conduct business, such as using an electricity and battery-powered underground fleet to eliminate all greenhouse gases, and reducing energy and water consumption through improved mineral recovery processes.
Working with local communities, particularly First Nations, has proved be rewarding for Canadian mining companies who operate in Canada and around the world, according to the report.
“Some of the Top 100 companies have made it a focus to forge stronger relationships with the communities in which they operate, particularly with First Nations communities who live in close proximity to many of the company’s operations. This includes creating direct employment and opportunities for local business in related industries providing essential training to create a broad community of skilled workers,” adds Fitzgerald.
Mining companies are also focused on improving efficiencies and safety through the use of technology and innovation. “In 2017, mining companies are expected to introduce new technologies to help digitize and automate processes and we expect to see this through the establishment of new and innovative partnerships, resulting in ideas that step away from the status quo,” explains Fitzgerald.
The 230 mining companies listed on the TSX comprised 11% of the market’s $2,596 billion market capitalization, a 3% increase of the sector from the previous year. The report indicates that most of the mining stock on the TSX have market capitalizations of less than $150 million but the majority of value remains with the mining companies worth more than $1 billion. As a result of low commodity prices, industry consolidation reduced the number of TSX mining companies by 32.
The full report Beyond the downturn: A focus on financial discipline and innovation in Canadian mining, which includes the latest industry figures and insights from Mining sector leaders can be found here.
About PwC Canada
At PwC Canada, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. More than 6,500 partners and staff in offices across the country are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, consulting and deals services. PwC Canada is a member of the PwC network of firms with more than 208,000 people in 157 countries.
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