2015 probably the pits for mining industry, says Orica’s acting CEO

Orica’s interim CEO has said 2015 is likely rock bottom
for the mining industry and there’d be fierce competition among explosives
companies for Pilbara business.

Reuters reports Alberto Calderon, the former BHP
executive who stepped in as acting CEO in March, said “I do believe we’re
in the trough” regarding the mining industry’s fortunes.

The company announced a 3 per cent decrease in net
profit, to $211 million, and decreased explosives volume guidance to 3.75
million tonnes (from between 3.8 and 4 million in March).

Calderon commented that the resilience the company had
displayed in the difficult environment was “pretty amazing”.

“This doesn’t mean it’s easy, but the degree Orica has been
able to withstand this is ­impressive,” he said.

The Australian reports that this had been solidified
during former managing director Ian Smith’s leadership, which saw an increased
focus on cost-cutting, productivity and value-added explosives.

Orica is due to open a new ammonium nitrate factory at
Burrup Peninsula on the west coast later in 2015.

Fairfax reports that competition between Orica and
rival explosives companies for business in the Pilbara is expected to be
fierce.

Rivals CSBP, Africa’s AEL and Incitec
Pivot will all be selling into a local market with both increased capacity and
cost-cutting from miners in Australia and Indonesia.

Image: http://www.orica.com/

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