Global mining industry grew 1% in 2022

The global mining industry registered a 1% growth in 2022, according to the physical production volume index, referred by the Mining Chamber of Mexico (Camimex).

In the case of the global metallic minerals industry, growth was 1.8%, while non-metallic minerals recorded a decrease of 1.3%.

Metal prices recorded a fall in 2022, to a greater extent in the case of precious metals, with a decrease of 2.4 percent, and to a lesser extent in the case of base metals, with a rate of 1.2 percent.

Although metal prices had started the year with a positive trend, by the end of the first quarter, factors combined to reverse this trend, and they did not recover until the last months of the year.

These factors were the confinements in Shanghai, China, due to the Covid-19 cases; the increase in interest rates by the U.S. Federal Reserve to try to contain inflation; and the war in Europe.

As the year ended, the Chinese government ended its zero Covid-19 policy, and inflation expectations gradually improved.

Global mining industry

Against this backdrop, global investment in mineral exploration maintained its recovery in 2022 by reaching US$13 billion, an amount that represented a 16% year-on-year increase.

Resources allocated to exploration continue to be largely stimulated by gold, and increasingly by the so-called green metals, which are those linked to the energy transition, particularly copper, nickel and lithium.

The recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, which began in mid-2020; and continued through 2021, was sustained in the early months of 2022, with strong metal prices and suitable financing conditions.

This encouraged exploration work, particularly by junior companies, which accounted for 43 percent of the exploration budget, a level very similar to that of the majors (45 percent).

These budgets were complemented by that of mid-sized companies (9 percent) and governments (3 percent).

As the year progressed, optimism was diluted by the aforementioned problems, so it is estimated that the results for 2023 will be different.

By metals, gold was the main destination of exploration expenditures with a total of 6.92 billion dollars, followed by copper with 2.79 billion dollars; these two metals accounted for almost 75 percent of the total.

Next, in order of importance, were silver, with a budget of 628 million dollars, nickel with 612 million dollars, and lithium with 467 million dollars.


Redacción Opportimes

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