PwC mining report: top 40 firms squandered boom benefits – by Barry Fitzgerald (The Australian – June 7, 2016)

Last year’s commodity price rout ravaged the global industry, with the top 40 mining companies posting their first collective net loss in history of $US27 billion, compared with a $US50bn net profit in 2014.

According to the “Mine 2016’’ report by PwC on the top 40, released yesterday, asset impairment charges to take account of the commodity price rout also soared.Total impairments for the year were $US53bn, taking impairments in the past five years in the wake of the collapsed mining boom to a staggering $US200bn.

PwC Australia’s mining leader Chris Dodd warned that more impairments were in the pipeline, saying there were instances where balance sheet values were above company market capitalisations.

Mr Dodd said 15 of the top 40 miners’ market capitalisations dipped below their book values, up from 12 the year before.

“We’ve seen more than $200bn in impairments over the last five years, which would suggest that the value of the boom to the majors has largely been written off,” he said.

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