New technology helping keep miners afloat but prices still under water

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New technology is helping miners cut costs to survive the worst downturn in commodity prices in nearly two decades, which is good news for companies that might otherwise have gone to the wall, not so good for an industry drowning in overcapacity.

Commodity prices from coal to zinc are down in some case as much as 80 per cent from record highs a few years ago, caused in part by slowing economic growth in China – for years the world’s biggest user of raw materials – that shows little signs of abating.

Gold miners in particular have stepped up technology investment within a falling capex budget, as the gold price in producers’ currencies, such as Australian or Canadian dollars, has held up much better than other commodities.

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