Mining and Metals
After a steep fall in gold and silver prices in 2013, iron ore, coal, and copper followed suit in 2014. Volatility of commodity prices continued in 2015 and 2016. Global economic uncertainty led to various rises and falls during short periods of time. Brexit, the US election (pre and post) and interest rate expectations were but a few factors contributing to these changes. Meanwhile, fundamentals such as growing supply from new low-cost projects, a stronger US dollar, weak global demand, and credit restrictions in China have pushed prices of these commodities down even further. Weakening prices and a sluggish outlook for demand growth have turned investors away from the mining sector. However, Cassia believes that this provides significant opportunities for development and growth: while waiting for a market upswing or adopting traditional cost containment measures will not likely suffice to turn the sector around,
Cassia, through careful application of innovative solutions for sustainable cost reduction and margin improvement, has been able to lever analytics to increase productivity and profitability for mining concerns globally, simultaneously helping these clients to embrace autonomous mining solutions and foster synergic vendor relationships. Price assumptions for mining financial models remain critical and Cassia believes that finding the balance between optimism and pessimism for forecasting continues to be essential
The most prominent driver for the base metals market is the rise in infrastructure development. While the base metal market is segmented according to metal and property, wide applications in various areas from packaging and transportation to construction and electrical systems have seen demand for the base metals rise in recent years.
Supply and Logistics
Transportation costs are a major component of the total cost of mining and can have significant impact on mine performance. With mines getting further from the coast and buyers, terrain, environmental and socio-political constraint are also increasing. Transportation therefore has become as important as ore geology, mine planning or processing.