May 17, 2020

Ernst & Young: Mining Industry Needs to Focus on Work Talent

Mining companies
2 min
Ernst & Young: Mining Industry Needs to Focus on Work Talent
As the aging workforce of the mining industry continues to retire, a new report by Ernst & Young (E&Y) suggests companies should focus on talent...

As the aging workforce of the mining industry continues to retire, a new report by Ernst & Young (E&Y) suggests companies should focus on talent management to reduce future risks. The report outlines factors such as globalization, disruptive technology and an aging workforce are affecting the future supply of talent.

• 6 Mining Careers with Higher-Than-Expected Salaries

• TOP 10: Highest Paying Jobs in the Mining Industry

"The war for talent just got a lot more complex,” said Brue Sprague, EY Canadian mining and metals leader.

According to the report, if mining companies fail to concentrate on talent management, they will lose intelligent, experienced people from the sector and endure significant talent shortages in the industry’s next upturn.

"During the boom years, many mining companies hired talent at any cost. Now, as cost-cutting exercises mean there are fewer jobs to fill, the best people are able cherry pick the top roles in a global marketplace and in other sectors as well,” said Sprague.

"Now more than ever, mining companies must not lose their focus on talent management."

E&Y advises mining companies to focus on acquisition, maintenance and optimization of human capital. In addition, the report says companies need to optimize their inventory of skills for their valuable projects, along with employing robust people programs.

"Those companies that are innovative and flexible in how they effectively attract, retain and grow talent will be the ones to realize productivity gains now, and position themselves to win in the next upturn,” Sprague adds.

Share article

May 6, 2021

Copper, iron ore surge as Chinese investors unleash demand

Iron ore
3 min
Iron ore broke $200 a tonne for the first time, while copper approached a record high as Chinese investors unleashed fresh demand following May holiday

The reopening of major industrial economies is sparking a surge across commodities markets from corn to lumber, with tin climbing above $30,000 a tonne for the first time since 2011 on Thursday.

In the wake of mounting evidence of inflation fuelled by higher raw materials prices, investors are also increasingly focused on when the U.S. Federal Reserve might start throttling back its emergency support.


Many banks say the rally has further to run, particularly for copper, which will benefit from rising investment in new energy sectors. Copper is at the highest in a decade, fueling bets it will rally further to take out the record set in February 2011. Steel demand is surging as economies chart a path back to growth just as the world’s biggest miners have been hampered by operational issues, tightening ore supply.

“The long-term prospects for metals prices are ‘too good’ and point to higher prices in the next few years,” said Commerzbank AG analyst Daniel Briesemann. “The decarbonization trends in many countries, which include switching to electric vehicles and expanding wind and solar power, are likely to generate additional demand for metals.”

Trading house Trafigura Group and several major Wall Street banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. expect copper to extend gains.

Copper rose as much as 1.6% to $10,108.50 a ton on the London Metal Exchange before trading at $10,080 as of 4:07 p.m. in London.


Iron Ore

Benchmark spot iron ore prices rose to a record, while futures in Singapore and China climbed.

The boom comes as China’s steelmakers keep output rates above 1 billion tons a year, despite a swath of production curbs aimed at reducing carbon emissions and reining in supply. Instead, those measures have boosted steel prices and profitability at mills, allowing them to better accommodate higher iron ore costs.

Spot iron ore with 62% content hit $201.15 a ton on Thursday, according to Mysteel. Futures in Singapore jumped as much as 5.1% to $196.40 a ton, the highest since contracts were launched in 2013. In Dalian, prices closed 8.8% higher.

Erik Hedborg, Principal Analyst, Steel at CRU Group commented: “Recent production cuts in Tangshan have boosted demand for higher-quality ore and prompted mills to build iron ore inventories as their margins are on the rise. Iron ore producers are enjoying exceptionally high margins as well, around two thirds of seaborne supply only require prices of $50 /dmt to break even.”


Still, some analysts including Commerzbank’s Briesemann expect a short-term correction as metals become detached from fundamentals. There’s also a risk that China could engage in policies that may cool demand for iron ore and copper.

The metals rally has boosted concerns about short-term Chinese demand. Some manufacturers and end-users have been slowing production or pushing back delivery times after costs surged, while weaker-than-expected domestic consumption has opened the arbitrage window for exports.

Tin climbed as much as 2% to $30,280 a ton on the LME, boosted by rising orders for the soldering metal. Tin is at the highest since May 2011, with a 48% gain this year making it the best performing metal on the LME.



Share article