Industry Trend Analysis - Projects By Commodity: More Tin & Copper, Less Iron Ore & Steel - JULY 2017

BMI View: Miners will invest less in projects over the years, as financial austerity will continue despite a gradual improvement in commodity prices over the coming years after bottoming in 2016. With capex remaining stringent, copper and tin will be projects of choice for miners, while coal, iron ore, and steel projects will see less investment over the years. Lithium and cobalt projects are also on the rise, driven by the battery revolution, setting their place as the commodities of the future.

Miners will remain focused on capital and supply discipline in the coming years despite improving commodity prices. With the limited capital they will allocate to greenfield projects, choice of commodities they will invest in will change over the coming years compared to historical trends, driven by prices and structural macroeconomic and industry shifts. We expect miners to invest less in commodities such as coal, iron ore, and steel while investment in copper and tin will hold up. Commodities including lithium and cobalt will also see increasing projects as prices and demand for these commodities are set to rise on a multi-decade horizon.

Declining Number Of Greenfield Projects : Coal, Iron Ore, Steel

Number Of Copper Projects To Outnumber Other Commodities
Copper & Coal - Number Of Projects By Phase
Source: BMI Global Mines Database

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