Iron ore spending to remain stable for the majors

More than a third of Australian mining companies will be cutting spending over the next 12 months, while the iron ore majors have a stable outlook for the year ahead, according to results of a new industry survey.

Timetric’s Mining Intelligence Centre showed no companies surveyed planned on spending increases, with 65 per cent of surface mining companies expecting to maintain the same level of investment this year.

The survey took responses from 100 mine managers and company decision makers in Australia.

Expected changes in spending varied by commodity, with no respondents in iron ore expecting spending increases.

Timetric senior mining analyst Nez Guevara said the result for iron ore was interesting, considering the commodity price downturn.

“The iron ore respondents all tended to be from large companies such as Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals, BHP and Roy Hill, which are all currently in the process of expanding their operations, as opposed to smaller producers such as BC Iron and Atlas Iron, whom are currently struggling,” he said.

In the coal sector, 38 per cent of respondents revealed plans to cut spending, while 25 per cent anticipated cuts in precious metals.

Only eight per cent of surface operations admitted plans to cut spending.

Around 35 per cent of managers from underground mines expected no changes in expenditure over the next year.

However, 31 per cent of surface operations are expected to increase their investment in 2016, with the majority of managers expecting it to be stable.

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