Survey of Worldʼs Leading Mining Executives Reveals Challenging Year Ahead Though a Bright Future is Just Around the Corner

VANCOUVER, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - In an international report released this week by The Mining Recruitment Group Ltd- a Vancouver based executive search firm focused on the resource industry- 140 mining executives from around the world revealed their outlook on the strength and viability of the sector over the short and long-term in addition to the current management strategies being employed in the wake of the market turmoil.

Andrew Pollard, President of The Mining Recruitment Group Ltd, states that "The report provides evidence in support of the view that the Industry is in the midst of an extremely challenging year. Lack of investment capital and the volatility in commodities prices have already taken their toll on a great number of companies surveyed, though apparently, many of the tough decisions have already been made. Though the short term sentiment certainly proves to be pretty bleak, the most important and yet surprising finding is the level of optimism of those on the inside track and their confidence in the regained strength of the industry in the coming years."

Only 22% of respondents thought that the mining sector would perform better in the second half of 2012 as compared to the first, with another 41% suggesting it will likely perform worse. When comparing the next twelve months to the last, it doesn't get much better with 63% of executives operating under the impression that the sector will perform the same as it has or get worse. 

Respondents felt bullish about the prospects for their own businesses for the remainder of 2012. 63% of executives think that their Company is well positioned to outperform the market as a whole. Only 3% felt their own businesses would have a worse time in the year ahead. According to Pollard "This emphasises that senior management teams have absolute confidence in achieving growth in their companies but have disparaging views of the competition and the sector in general."

Though the short term outlook is quite meager, there was a marked difference on their perspective over a three year period.  82% of respondents are bullish as to the strength of the industry over this time frame, whereas only 5% are bearish at any degree. The remaining 14% had a neutral view.

When asked to predict when market conditions would take a sustained turn for the better, 56% of executives surveyed thought it take until the 1st quarter of 2013 or beyond to develop any sort of real traction. Many however are optimistic that Q4 2012 will be when things start to turn around with 38% of the vote. Only 5% thought this would happen before the 4th quarter came around.

Key Report Findings:

  • When asked about their short term (6-12 month) outlook on the overall strength of the mining industry only 8% of executives were bullish to any degree.
  • 76% of respondents were moderately to extremely concerned over the lack of investment capital moving into the industry, whereas only 43% were moderately to extremely concerned with the volatility commodities prices over the next two years.
  • In the current landscape, an overwhelming 71% of those polled said that their companies have made a concerted effort to reduce overhead. Of those focused on cost savings: 64% have scaled back on marketing and IR budgets, 32% noted a reduction or elimination of incentive pay, and 80% have scaled back on their exploration or development plans.
  • When asked as to how the current conditions have affected their short term business objectives only 32% indicated current conditions have had no affect on their plans.
  • 76% of executives indicated that they were not considering any further layoffs for the remainder of 2012 though with drastic cost cutting measures having been implemented and fear of the availability of capital, 60% of respondents do not expect to recruit over the next 6 months.
  • Of those that are planning to recruit, geologists will be in highest demand with 71% of those respondents indicating they will have a need.  50% also indicated the need for mining engineers and good executive leaders don't fall far behind, with 21% of companies polled planning to make additions to their executive teams.
  • Only 32% of respondents said that their company is involved in any sort of succession planning.

Survey Methodology:

Those that took part in this survey were executives from mining companies of all sizes and stages. Of those polled, 58% came from companies with market caps below $50m, 14% from companies between $51M-$250M, and 17% from companies with market caps between $251m-$1b. 11% were made up of executives from $1b+ entities. The lions' share of responses came from executives at companies that would primarily be described as explorers, with 54%.  Among those remaining, 16% were primarily at the development stage and 30% were producers. The Report was sent out and completed between June 1st-June 8th, 2012.

About The Mining Recruitment Group Ltd.

Established in 2006, The Mining Recruitment Group(MRG) is a leader in executive search for emerging junior and mid-cap mining companies. Since our inception, we have advised companies ranging in size from $5M to $20B in market cap and have been involved in successful searches spanning all senior executive and functional leadership positions within the mining industry.

To Request a copy of the Report with detailed findings or to schedule an interview with Andrew Pollard please email info@miningrecruitmentgroup.com

SOURCE The Mining Recruitment Group Ltd

For further information:

Tel. 604.696.2929

www.miningrecruitmentgroup.com

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The Mining Recruitment Group Ltd

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