VANCOUVER, BC – PwC Canada’s 53rd Annual British Columbia Mining Report for 2020 stated that although positive trends developed in the second half of 2020, BC miners saw mixed financial results by the year’s end. The BC mining sector reported decreasing revenues, net income and cash flows compared to operations in 2019. This is predominantly due to lower prices and reduced shipments for metallurgical coal, a key commodity for the BC mining industry. As 2020 progressed, commodity prices began to recover after an initial drop for base metals at the start of the pandemic. Gold, considered a haven in tough economic times, reached a record above US$2,000 per ounce in August 2020 before retreating later in the year.
Of those who participated in PwC’s BC Mining Survey, their gross mining revenues totaled $9.5 billion, compared to $11.4 billion in 2019 and $12.4 billion in 2018 (CAD).
“The BC mining sector resiliently navigated a challenging 2020, with companies quickly adapting their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mark Patterson, BC Mining Leader, PwC Canada. “Although overall revenues fell from 2019, BC miners are looking ahead with optimism. At this pivotal moment, they have a unique opportunity to further accelerate change, transformation and progress on critical priorities, like ESG.”
Despite the obstacles and challenges the pandemic presented, PwC’s 2021 CEO Survey reported that 82% of global mining chief executive officers in the mining industry think economic growth will improve over the next 12 months. This focus on prosperity is key for CEOs in the mining industry as they are thinking about strategic agendas that support future success.
This year’s PwC BC Mine Report includes what a new agenda can look like for BC miners, where they can further accelerate change, transformation and progress on critical priorities like sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. The new agenda delves into actions BC miners can take to be set-up for a successful future.
“Creating a better environment to do business is critical as British Columbia has the minerals and metals the world needs to transition to a cleaner, low-carbon future. Our industry has long embraced innovation as a way to improve our efficiency, reduce waste and decrease our environmental footprint,” said Michael Goehring, President and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia. “Launched earlier this year, the BC Mining Innovation Roadmap builds on laying out a path to further improve our position as Canadian leaders in innovation with the support and collaboration of all stakeholders.”
Despite reporting lower revenues, BC miners continued to invest in 2020, with capital expenditures up from $1.5 billion in 2019 to $1.6 billion in 2020. An exciting future is on the horizon, and in the face of a major disruption in 2020, this is proof of the resiliency of the mining industry.