The BC mining sector posted positive results for the second consecutive year, coming after a period of lower commodity prices and reduced activity. According to PwC Canada’s BC Mine report, prices for most metals and minerals produced in the province improved in 2018. On average, copper prices were 6% higher in 2018 relative to 2017, while metallurgical coal prices rose an average of 5% year-over-year. Higher prices led to an increase in revenue and net income, with gross mining revenue hitting a record high of $12.3 billion, up from $11.7 billion in 2017.
Recent merger and acquisition activity is another reflection of renewed optimism in the BC mining industry. There were a handful of M&A transactions in 2018 and 2019 to date, including Newmont Mining Corp.’s acquisition of a 50% interest in the Galore Creek Partnership from Novagold Resources Inc. (to form a partnership with Teck Resources Ltd.) and Taseko Mines Ltd.’s purchase of Yellowhead Mining Inc. Newmont also recently closed its deal to buy Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc.
The BC mining industry is a key producer and supplier of some of the products required to transition to a low-carbon economy. The metals and minerals produced in the region, particularly copper and zinc, are used in everything from wind turbines to electric vehicles, which are critical to lower emissions. BC also hosts multi-decade resources of metallurgical/steelmaking coal, which is vital to economic development. Although the industry does face challenges to its competitiveness, BC is still considered an attractive place for mining companies to invest and do business, thanks in part to its world-class infrastructure, highly skilled workforce and access to Asian markets through a sophisticated port system.
“There are great opportunities here in BC, and it’s up to the industry, the government and all other stakeholders to bring certainty to the mining sector, which is a major contributor to the provincial coffers,” said Mark Platt, Mining Partner, PwC Canada. “A collaborative strategy with a clear vision that supports industry objectives as well as environmental imperatives should be the goal.”
Click here to access the full report.
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