Deloitte Mining Publication: Tracking the Trends 2009 – The Top 10 Global Mining Issues (December/2008)

For a more detailed discussion of each of the top ten issues that Deloitte’s global network of mining professionals believe will influence the mining sector most in the coming year, read the full report. Tracking the Trends 2009

December/2008 – The financial crisis that came to define the latter half of 2008 brought the turmoil of unprecedented uncertainty to both the private and public sectors. Resource companies in particular were especially impacted, reliant as they are on buoyant commodity prices, which after a series of record highs in the earlier half of the year have since plummeted to fresh lows. As 2009 drew near, the one question on everyone’s mind surely was, “What’s next for the mining industry?”

“Mining companies believed in a super-cycle, but like all cycles, it came to an end,” says Glenn Ives, leader of Deloitte’s North American   Mining  practice. “While companies could not foresee the liquidity crisis that caused commodity price declines, those that react most quickly will be positioned to win in the next cycle.”

Tracking the trends 2009 is a report that identifies the ten most pressing global challenges facing the mining industry today and offers thoughts and strategic advice toward addressing them. From volatile markets and operating cost pressures to regulatory compliance and carbon permitting, the report is intended to help executives chart their companies’ courses over the coming months.

One thing is clear: the mining industry’s underlying fundamentals are essentially unchanged. As stockpiles fall, global demand may still outstrip supply. Material and talent shortages have not abated. In an environment of heightened scrutiny, mining companies must also continue to contend with the rising costs of regulatory compliance and sustainable development. And while many organizations pursue global diversification to resolve some of these challenges, both political and regulatory instability in many developing nations has raised the stakes of expansion.

There is neither a magic bullet nor a one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges mining companies face. But there is opportunity. Between managing costs, mitigating shortages, reducing risk, streamlining consolidation and improving compliance, the mining sector can continue laying the foundation for growth despite current economic conditions.