The mining industry faced considerable volatility in 2019. Commodity prices ended the year far from where they started, both for the better (gold, silver, platinum and palladium) and for the worse (copper and zinc). Financings started the year at multiyear lows but ended the year on an upward trajectory. Geopolitical tensions hit many of the world’s major economies, most notably China and the U.S., with China reporting its lowest economic growth rate in decades. Given such uncertainty, it’s not surprising that the mining industry approached 2019 with caution, waiting for global economic indicators to stabilize or improve.
The volatility has only increased in first quarter of 2020, however. The phase 1 trade deal signed between the U.S. and China did little to remove existing tariffs, and the sharp escalation in U.S.-Iran tensions in early January raised geopolitical tensions to new highs. The looming specter of the new coronavirus outbreak has quickly overshadowed even those tensions, however, sending shock waves through supply chains and markets, with no end in sight. While gold is benefiting from the chaos as a safe haven, there are some signs that investors are even becoming cautious towards the precious metal. Yet gold remains the key driver for exploration in 2020, with the number of gold projects drilled in January reaching the highest total since we began compiling results in mid-2012.
Join us to hear our assessment of the exploration results and trends emerging from 2019 and whether 2020 promises to be a year of tentative recovery or continued downturn.
2019 review and 2020 update
- Exploration budgets and trends
- Drilling activity
- Reserve and resources changes
- Initial resources and discoveries
- 2020 outlook