JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – While over 80% of mining executives canvassed in a Mining Recruitment Group survey revealed scaled-back exploration or development plans, the medium-term view of the mining industry was positive.
Executive search firm Mining Recruitment Group, which surveyed 140 mining executives globally, said that the short-term sentiment of the mining industry was challenging and bleak, with a lack of investment capital and the volatility in commodity prices taking their toll.
The Vancouver-based company found that 41% of the respondents believed that the mining sector would deteriorate during the second half of the year, compared with the first six months of 2012, while only 22% believed the sector would improve.
Further, 63% of those polled believed that the market conditions would remain the same or deteriorate over the next 12 months, said Mining Recruitment Group president Andrew Pollard.
While 76% of those surveyed were moderately to extremely concerned over the lack of investment capital moving into the industry, only 43% were moderately to extremely concerned with the potential for volatility in commodities prices over the next two years.
Pollard also commented that, while 76% indicated that they were not considering any further layoffs for the remainder of 2012, 60% did not expect to recruit over the next six months owing to drastic cost-cutting measures and fear of the unavailability of capital.
Despite this, 76% of those surveyed revealed rising optimism or were confident that the industry would regain its strength in the next three years.
Of the executives polled, 56% believed that the first quarter of 2013 would see the markets turnaround.
Over 80% of the mining executives noted that they were bullish about the market over the next three years. Only 5% are bearish to any degree and 14% were neutral.
Meanwhile, many of the respondents were optimistic about the prospects of their own enterprises during the remainder of 2012, with 63% believing their firm was well positioned to outperform the market as a whole. Only 3% felt their own businesses would have a worse time in the year ahead.
"This emphasises that senior management teams have absolute confidence in achieving growth in their companies but have disparaging views of the competition and the sector in general," Pollard concluded.