INVESTMENT

Adapting to mining's new capex milieu

In the past 10 years many mining companies felt like they were driving their capital projects forward at high speed during rush hour—everyone on the expressway jockeying to get to the same destination faster than the others. Miners had plenty of big projects in the works, fuelled by abundant funding aimed at boosting capacity to take advantage of the commodity price super-cycle. Talented project managers had a wealth of opportunities, and recruiting them wasn't easy. Equipment essential for expanding mine sites and building new plants was in high demand. Acquiring mills, shovels and even tyres took twice as long as it did during calmer periods.

Miners are expected to spend more than US$70 billion, worldwide, on growth projects in 2016

Miners are expected to spend more than US$70 billion, worldwide, on growth projects in 2016

But today, all that has changed. Miners may feel more like they're driving their capital projects slowly down the expressway at midnight, alone. Owing to stalled demand from China and significant supply...

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