Commodities report: 2013 roundup & gold, silver and copper performance
TORONTO, Dec. 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Amidst write downs, drop in commodity prices and lower revenues, gold, silver
and copper are among the most closely watched metals in the mining
sector. They are also some of the hardest hit metals in 2013,
according to PwC's new Gold, silver and copper report.
Gold has been the big mining story of the year. The metal, which
surpassed $1,900 per ounce in 2011, fell to around $1,200 this summer
and prices are currently hovering not far above that. The worst
performing metal this year goes to silver - with prices plummeting 40%
in 2013. As for copper, prices fell from $3.70 per pound at the start
of the year to above $3 currently- becoming the metal that
'outperformed' this year.
Gold producers are preparing for another challenging year. Reflecting
lower levels of confidence, 47% of gold producers expect the price to
increase in the next 12 months, compared to 88% a year ago.
Despite being the worst performing metal this year, silver miners are
optimistic for 2014 with only 9% anticipating the price of silver to
fall further next year. Copper is expected to be stable with nearly two
thirds of respondents (62%), predicting copper prices to remain the
same in 2014.
Cutting back and keeping costs down
"After years of spending on mergers and acquisitions and expanding
operations with money generated from high metal prices, miners are now
cutting back," says John Gravelle, PwC's Global and Canadian mining leader. "Encouraging investors to return to the mining space will involve
strict cost management strategies and responsible investment in
Managing costs and finding financing are among the top priorities for
miners amid less optimistic future price expectations. According to the
Sixty-six per cent of mining companies cite managing their spending as
one of the most important business imperatives in 2014
More than half (54%) of miners say raising financing is critical
Less than a quarter of (20%) of respondents highlight mergers and
acquisitions as something they plan to pursue
For the coming year, 53% of miners said they anticipate going to the
equity markets to raise capital, while 29% expect to raise project
financing and another 14% plan to raise corporate debt.
"While 2013 has been a tough year for miners, the industry has faith
that fundamentals will recover," says Gravelle. "Gold, silver and
copper may not reach record levels in the near future, but expect
prices to increase alongside the stabilizing global economy."
Gravelle adds, "China's economic growth is expected to remain strong as
it executes its reform agenda - providing hope for mining companies
that continue to sell their commodities to the world's second largest
economy. The gradual economic recovery in the US should also help
increase long-term demand for commodities."
Annually, PwC surveys gold mining companies globally. This year, the
firm included copper and silver companies from a cross-section of the
more than 100 senior, mid-tier and junior companies. All dollar figures
are in US dollars. For more information on PwC's Gold, silver and copper report, please visit PwC's mining site at: www.pwc.com/ca/mining.
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SOURCE: PwC Management Services LP
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