The BC mining sector has posted price volatility and falling revenues for the year, according to PwC Canada’s BC mine report. Gross mining revenues fell to $11.4 billion in 2019, down from $12.4 billion in 2018 (all figures in CAD). It was a solid start to the year by the BC mining industry but revenues declined as the year progressed. The start of 2019 was buoyed by the rising prices of metallurgical coal and copper, but as the year progressed, they began to retreat. This was due to a weaker outlook for global economic growth ahead of the COVID-19 crisis.
The mining sector’s price volatility led to a decrease in overall revenue and net income at BC mining companies in 2019. Average prices for British Columbia’s key mining commodities showed a mixed result compared to a year earlier. Metallurgical coal and copper saw year-over-year decreases in 2019, falling 10% and 8%, respectively. Gold saw increases of 10% compared to 2018.
In the near term, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to dampen the outlook for the prices of many of the key metals and minerals produced in the province.
In 2019, the BC government made the mining flow-through share tax credit and the BC mining exploration tax credit permanent. Exploration and development expenditures were $277 million in 2019, reflecting an increase from $248 million the year before driven mostly by greater exploration and development activity at gold projects in the province.
“BC mining companies are in a good position to build on their successes by further embedding resilience into their business models,” said Mark Patterson, BC Mining Leader, PwC Canada. “The environmental, social and governance work that has already been established in BC has the potential to create an internationally-recognized ‘Made in BC’ label. High environmental standards, strong relationships with communities, and the unwavering commitment to health and safety, will help BC mining companies succeed in uncertainty.”
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