By Alois Vinga
MOST top executives in the mining sector are optimistic that the economy will grow in 2022 with most players planning to expand operations going forward, The State of the Mining Industry Report has established.
The survey findings show that about 55 % of respondents mining executives are expecting the economy to grow in 2022, while the remainder expect the economy either to remain the same or contract.
“Mining executives are confident about mineral output growth in 2022. Majority of the respondent mining houses are planning to ramp up production in 2022 by ranges of 3 % to as high as 100 %. Approximately, 58 % of respondents are planning to increase production by up to 40 %, while 42 % are planning to ramp up production by more than 40 %,” the study said.
The survey findings show that there are some new projects as well as expansion of existing operations that have been undertaken specifically in the gold and platinum industries that have potential to increase mineral output in 2022.
It is observed that three gold mines indicated that they had just resumed operations in 2021 and would ramp up production in 2022.
Seven other gold mines indicated that they are spending on capital projects with additional output expected in 2022 and the medium term.
“Survey findings show that the mining industry capacity utilisation would be at around 80% in 2021 and anticipated to be 83% in 2022.Key sectors of gold and ferrochrome expected to drive mining industry capacity utilisation in 2022,”the survey observed.
The report reveals that notwithstanding issues surrounding access to capital, most mining executives are planning to use retained earnings to fund their projects in 2022.
About 90% of respondent mining executives are either maintaining the same number of employees or increasing the number of employees in 2022.
Those likely to increase the number of employees cited improvements in the Covid19 situation and expansion projects to trigger some new hirings.
“On the negative side, however, mining business executives expect the investment environment to be depressed, characterised by high cost of capital. They further anticipate foreign exchange constraints and infrastructure deficit to persist in 2022,” the report added.