Blogs & Comment

Forget about red, B.C.’s mining industry is in the black

The mining industry in B.C. didnt see red in 2008, despite the market meltdown last fall. Instead, it saw record black. According to a new report released today by accountancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Mining Industry in British Columbia( click here for the report)in 2008 the aggregate pre-tax net earnings for the industry was up 88% to $3.2 billion, the highest in the 41-year history of PWCs annual survey.
The main contributor to the historic performance is the record price for coal, which jumped 225% to US$261/tonne over 2007. Other commodities, which added to the record earnings, included gold, molybdenum and silver, which respectively added $231 million, $472 million and $272 million to B.C. mining revenue last year. Copper concentrates saw its contribution to revenue fall in 2008 to $1.19 billion, down from $1.66 billion, while zinc saw its contribution to revenue fall 40% to $736 million.
While we saw records set in 2008, there is currently a mix of uncertainty and cautious optimism within the BC mining industry, said Michael Cinnamond, PwC partner and co-author of the report. A PwC poll of 33 mining CEOs of B.C.-based mining companies in April 2009 found that 27% are conserving cash; 39% have implemented either moderate or other spending cuts, 12% are just hanging on and 15% are more optimistic and are actively seeking acquisitions and looking to grow.