According to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the largest 40 mining companies in the world by market capitalization have weathered the COVID-19 pandemic mostly unscathed.
The full report can be downloaded below and the following summary is sourced from S&P Market Intelligence.
The advisory group estimated the top 40 mining companies would take a relatively modest 6% hit to their EBITDA in 2020. PricewaterhouseCoopers expects miners to slow capital expenditures as they move to free up cash flows. The report stated that many mines continue to operate through the crisis and have even rolled out potentially sustainable improvements in areas such as remote mining and wider deployment of automation.
“But the Top 40 are not immune from the social and economic shocks ahead, and they cannot afford to let their guard down,” the report stated. “COVID-19 is challenging long-held assumptions about the unassailable wisdom of ultra-lean principles and global supply chains. Miners may need to think about de-risking critical supply chains and investing more in local communities.”
The firm expects miners to prioritize production over expansion in 2020 and also envisions a resurgence in capital spending after 2020.
PricewaterhouseCoopers said they do not expect “many mega-deals” in 2020 due to both economic uncertainty and the physical constraints of site visits and inspections due to the pandemic.
The report, a broad look at the global mining sector, also encouraged the industry to keep an eye on trends that were emerging before the pandemic, such as the rise of investor interest in companies’ reporting of environmental, social and governance matters.