Mining Industry “Dropping Like a Rock?”

I’m not sure I agree with Kent Lambert’s economics.

Newmont Mining Corp. said Thursday that its profit more than doubled in the third quarter as the gold producer capitalized on favorable commodity prices and strong gold and copper sales.

Newmont’s profit climbed to $388 million, or 79 cents per share, compared with $191 million, or 42 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 jumped 50 percent to $2.05 billion from $1.37 billion, with copper sales more than quadrupling and gold sales rising steadily.

Indeed, Newmont generated a “record $1.1 billion in operating cashflow” according to their press release.

Looking at the stock prices of all the publicly-traded mining companies that operate in Colorado shows a similar trend.

The fact is that the weak dollar has made commodities the place to be, which is more stimulus than the mining companies could ever have hoped for in this economy.

5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ClubTwitty says:

    Colorado mining companies like Newmont don’t have lots of operations in CO, but they are doing well.

    Still, most of the current mining in state is coal, and that is way down.  Part of the issue is, again, the glutted NatGas supply, and more power plants moving toward that fuel…

  2. The realist says:

    from Newmont and others is reflecting their corporate financial success?

  3. abraham says:

    The aberrational economic situation has certainly given a huge focus on gold – isn’t it above $1,000 an ounce?  But we should not generalize to all mining.  Minerals are commodities and the miners respond to international commodity prices.  Sometimes that is profitable, and sometimes it is not.  Colorado mining, as with other states and countries, has not been immune to the volatility and we have seen some Colorado mining operations scaled back.

    It is also true that mining is sensitive to the costs imposed through regulation and adjusts accordingly.  That is not to say that mining laws and regulations should not be modernized – just that we ought to make sre that we understand and embrace the ripple effects.

    Severance tax revenues have plummeted, and that is causing problems for the Water Conservation Board and its programs.  Most of the severance tax revenue comes from oil and gas, and we know that both have scaled back because of the global economy.  Even Wyoming is seeing signficant drops in its severance tax revenues.

    There are lots of reasons to question Lambert’s command of economics and public finance, and we should all have a considerable amount of amusement listening to his comments.

    • ajb says:

      Can anyone point to a concrete example of a mining project failing to go forward because of the added cost of regulations?

      My guess is that the cost of environmental compliance is very small compared to the cost of production (drilling/mining, refining/milling, transportation), and is trivial compared to the volatility of commodities pricing.

      Furthermore, I’d guess that if such a case exists, then the operation was pretty marginal to start with, even without any compliance costs.

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