The Mining Supercycle And Its Demise – by Christopher Ecclestone ( – December 2, 2015)

The “death throes” of the once vaunted Commodities Supercycle have been dragging on now since 2011 and are starting to look like the much derided “death scene” in the original Brideshead Revisited in which Sir Laurence Olivier took seemingly forever to depart the mortal coil.

Like the Supercycle, that scene had an inevitability about it and eventually the viewers were anxious for it all to be over.

Those amongst us who believed the Supercycle was immortal have now been brought down to earth because all good things must end… but maybe it’s a truism that all bad things must end too… so in the wake of the Supercycle’s demise (and there are a few hardies out there who sustain it will rise from its grave) we now should accept matters and look beyond.

Five Uneasy Stages

Musing about the Supercycle recently I was struck at the many mood changes that those in the mining community have experienced over the last four years as they accepted (or rejected) the changes that were happening around them and bringing an “end to an era”.

The fact that the era was only a relatively short ten years from 2001 to 2011 (or less in some estimations) and that there had been booms and busts before didn’t stop them from positing that “this time it is different” or that the patient would rise Lazarus-like and start to dance again.

The parallel that came to mind was the Kübler-Ross Model which postulates a series of emotional stages experienced by survivors of an intimate’s death, wherein the five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

This scheme of things first saw light of day as the brainchild of Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book and has gained widespread acceptance ever since.

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