‘This time isn’t different’: Miners must learn lessons of the last boom-bust cycle – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – March 7, 2017)


As the mining industry gingerly approaches what could be the start of a new, improved commodity cycle, analysts at the 85th Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto warned companies to heed lessons from the last crash, lest they repeat their boom-cycle follies.

“This time isn’t different,” warned Mark Fellows, director at U.K.-based Skarn Associates, noting that the impact of the cyclical nature of the industry isn’t going away and miners are an industry of price-takers, having little direct influence over the value of the commodities they produce.

That’s why, he said, those preparing for a price upswing must be more prudent than before as global economic uncertainty persists, especially given that the last boom-bust cycle was particularly extreme.

“The cycle we’ve just been through was a real standout cycle in terms of the price rise we had and the trough we had afterwards,” he said.

Last year was a good one for the mining industry, a welcome relief from a years-long post-2008 recession trough, and 2017 is expected to be even better, according to the World Exploration Trends report from S&P Market Intelligence. Many analysts have observed the market appears to be at a turning point.

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