While many news headlines regarding the global mining industry are less than cheerful for the sector there are signs that it is not all gloom and doom.
In a recent survey of 125 mining executives from around the world the mood of the responses was decidedly more positive than when a similar survey was conducted in June 2012. In the follow up survey released in October by The Mining Recruitment Group Ltd- a Vancouver based executive search firm focused on the resource industry- 47 percent of the executives said that they held a bullish view about the short-term (6-12 months) view of the future. When the survey was conducted in June when only 8 perent of executives held a bullish outlook and 38 percent had stated they were bearish. With only 11 percent of respondents holding a bearish outlook at this point and the remaining 41 percent holding a neutral view “there has clearly been a massive change in the psychology of mining executives over a very short time” according to Andrew Pollard, President of The Mining Recruitment Group Ltd. When comparing the next twelve months to the last, sentiment is up dramatically with 67 percent of executives expecting the sector to perform better. This is in stark contrast to our last polling where 63 percent of executives were operating under the impression that the sector would perform the same as it had or would in fact get worse.
The survey also found that 66 percent of respondents expect to hire new employees in the next six months. “This is a major reversal in outlook from our last polling where 60 percent had indicated that they would not be hiring,” MRG noted. “Of those companies that are planning to recruit, geologists will be in highest demand with 60 percent of those respondents indicating they will have a need. Additionally, 54 percent also indicated the need for mining engineers and good executive leaders don’t fall far behind, with 29 percent of companies polled planning to make additions to their executive teams.”
Respondents said they felt bullish about the prospects for their own businesses over the next 12 months with 74 percent of executives thinking that their company is positioned to outperform the market as a whole. According to Pollard “Though of course they all can’t be right in their assumptions, this emphasises that senior management teams have absolute confidence in achieving growth in their companies and the marked change in positive sentiment towards the sector as a whole may be fueling some high ambitions.”
In the current landscape, 74 percent of those polled said that their companies have made a concerted effort to reduce overhead. These findings are largely unchanged from the previous polling, though in light of the increasingly positive short term view of the sector what is of interest is that 89 percent of respondents indicated that they were just as focused on maintaining cost cutting initiatives as they were six months ago.
When asked to predict when market conditions would take a sustained turn for the better, 41 percent of executives surveyed thought it take until the third quarter of 2013 or beyond to develop any sort of real traction. Many however are optimistic that the first quarter of 2013 will be when things start to turn around with 27 percent of the vote and 21 percent thinking it would be the second quarter.
For more information, visit the Mining Recruitment Group at http://www.miningrecruitmentgroup.com/.