Everything You Missed at PDAC 2015
For the 83rd consecutive year, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) event was a massive success.
Comprised of the who’s who of the mining industry, the event welcomed a total of 23,578 attendees from over 100 countries to the annual four-day convention in Toronto. The crowd included everyone from investors, analysts, executives, geologists, government officials and students.
“We consider this a very successful year, attendee feedback has been extremely positive and the number of attendees is similar to last years,” said PDAC President Rod Thomas. “The quality of networking and learning opportunities continues to be a prime attractor for attendees.”
The PDAC event commenced with a flurry of positive announcements supporting Canada’s mineral exploration and mining industry, including the federal government’s renewable of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) and the appointment of Jeffrey Davidson as Canada’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counselor for the extractive sector.
Also announced during the event was a proposal from federal finance minister Joe Oliver to include certain environmental and aboriginal consultation expenses to the Canadian Exploration Expense program.
The federal government, in partnership with the Ontario government, also announced the study of an all-weather transportation corridor in the Ring of Fire region.
“The provincial and federal governments in Canada are important partners in creating conditions that allow the mineral industry to flourish nationally and internationally,” says PDAC Executive Director Andrew Cheatle. “We look forward to further building upon the constructive activities that occurred at PDAC 2015.
A number of events such as the CSR Event Series, Aboriginal Program and Investors Exchange received overwhelming support from the general public.
In case you missed it
The 2015 PDAC event included a wide range of discussions on various topics in the mining industry. This is what you missed.
“Crowd sourcing has the potential to be big for startups and initial fieldwork,” said Cheatle. “However, it seems like an unlucky solution for the bigger projects, especially when you’re talking about diamond drilling and air-born surveying.”
Shifting to automation:
“We know autonomy is very important to enhancing operations in the mining industry,” says Cheatle. “It has the proven capability of increasing productivity be 20 percent and is overall a more efficient way of mining. Canada has been on the forefront of a lot of this technology and we’ve seen the shift to automation for some time now, before mainstream media picked up on it.”
Future of Canada’s mining industry:
According to Cheatle, Canada is, and will continue, to be a leader of metals and mining on the world stage.
“Despite difficult times, the Canadian mining industry has shown resiliency to get through this. The future of the Canadian mining industry looks very strong.”
PDAC 2016 is expected to take place at the metro Toronto Convention Centre from February 28 to March 2. Click here for more information.
WATCH: Rod Thomas (President of PDAC) and Kevan Cowan (President, TSX Markets & Group Head of Equities) open the TMX market.
Copper, iron ore surge as Chinese investors unleash demand
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.
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.