In Aussie Mine - Going for Gold, we find that amongst the gloom, companies holding quality gold assets were the shining lights of 2015 with revenues up by 11% and share of mid-tier revenues growing 5%. Gold companies also benefitted from increased AUD gold price and a lower cost environment.
Copper also glistened as gross margins on the metal reached 54% making it the most profitable commodity in the sector. Elsewhere falling commodity prices and investor confidence contributed to a decline in total market capitalisation amongst the Mid-Tier 50 companies.
Our key findings:
Looking ahead, the Mid-Tier 50 mining companies must stay focussed on continued innovation, alternative sources of capital and improved project success to help revive its fortunes.
Now in its 9th year Aussie Mine provides industry and financial analysis of the largest 50 mining companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) with a market capitalisation of less than $5 billion at 30 June 2015 (the mid-tier 50).
With commodity prices retreating from record highs that saw them soar well over the cost curve, costs are suddenly important again. No longer is it all about adding incremental tonnes (or pounds or ounces) whatever it takes. The industry has stabilised as the wall of new supply has finally caught up with the ever rising demand for minerals, leading to prices settling at or near the top of the cost curve.
It’s been a challenging year for the mid-tier 50 with falling commodity prices and increased costs impacting the bottom line. These conditions together with declining investor confidence have seen the combined market capitalisation of the mid-tier 50 plummeting 50% in two years. The entry level to make the mid-tier 50 is now just $172 million.