Oil and metals: Goliath and David

Another excellent infographic published by Visual Capitalist (a few weeks ago).
They left diamonds out of the picture, a pity. They included graphite, diamond’s darker and duller brother, though; curiously enough, both markets are very similar in value (diamond production marginally smaller, at close to $14B).
Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

Responsible sourcing for mining & metals – ICMM

Companies have a shared responsibility for the materials that they produce. Demonstrating value focuses on the two complementary sides of the responsible sourcing debate – sustainable procurement and responsible supply.

A client (a small to medium sized operation) recently asked my help to certify the origin of its production in a neighbouring country of DRC. If it’s diamonds we talking about, there are already standard procedures in place (it’s relatively easy); if it’s one of the 3TG (tin,tantalum, tungsten or gold), then it’s a complex maze, especially if you are outside the Great Lakes countries but in their shadow (neighbouring countries).

In this situation, there is no one locally to whom you may ask for advice (no financing for institutions to have representations in the countries outside the main focus of attention; yet local producers have to “exercise supply chain due diligence“, whatever this is (don’t bother explaining the concept, I understand it in theory; how does a small to medium operation puts it into practice?).

I use ICMM (as well as CIM and PDAC’s) guidelines and publications in the projects I design; I did it in the past and am doing it now in an exploration project in Angola. I must confess that I only check for new ICMM updates on a need to use basis; this time I downloaded the new report on responsible sourcing from today’s e-mail. Perhaps I will get (and my client) some insight from this document.

You may obtain it here or directly from ICMM website.

Worldwide exploration budgets falling 19% to $9.2 billion in 2015

SNL Metals & Mining’s 26th Corporate Exploration Strategies estimates worldwide exploration budgets falling 19% to $9.2 billion in 2015 (NEW YORK, Nov. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ full text here)

SNL Metals & Mining’s 2015 exploration data and analysis are based on information collected from nearly 3,500 mining and exploration companies worldwide, of which almost 1,800 had exploration budgets for 2015. The companies (each budgeting at least $100,000) budgeted a total of $8.77 billion for nonferrous exploration in 2015. Including SNL’s estimates for budgets that could not be obtained, the 2015 worldwide exploration budget totals $9.2 billion. (Note: Nonferrous exploration refers to spending in the search for precious and base metals, diamonds, uranium, and some industrial minerals; it specifically excludes exploration for iron ore, aluminum, coal, and oil and gas.)

… all of the covered commodities received lower allocations in 2015, ranging from a 14% decline in gold allocations to 34% and 33% declines in uranium and PGM budgets respectively. As a result, gold’s share of the total budget increased to almost 45%, while base metals’ share fell slightly to one-third.

… Although all regions received lower allocations in 2015, Latin America’s share of the global total increased to more than 28% — largely due to a focus on near-mine exploration. It was the region’s highest share since the bottom of the previous downturn in 2001. Conversely, Africa and Pacific/Southeast Asia recorded the sharpest declines in planned exploration spending, with their budgets falling 30% and 28% respectively.

By the end of the September quarter, the market value of the mining industry’s listed companies had fallen below US$1 trillion for the first time since 2009. And although exploration budgets are also at a new low, recent data from SNL Metals & Mining’s Monthly Industry Monitor is somewhat encouraging. SNL’s Pipeline Activity Index, which measures exploration and development activity, increased for a second consecutive month to its second-highest point to date in 2015. By the end of October, the SNL indexed metals price appeared to have stabilized, and SNL’s estimate of the market value of the industry’s listed companies rose after five months of steady decline. Several of SNL Metals & Mining’s metrics in October suggest that the mining industry may perhaps be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Read the full article here.

The role of mining in national economies (2nd edition) – ICMM

I missed last year’s ICMM publication; in case you also didn’t get it: The role of mining in national economies (2nd edition).

This second edition of The role of mining in national economies provides an update on the contribution of mining activities in each of the world’s 214 national economies. The report extends the analysis to capture the recent downturn in the mineral prices (2010-2012) as well providing a deeper understanding of the role of mining in poverty reduction.

ICMM -International Council on Mining & Metals