Despite tough financial times, the sector remains busy. Company revenues have been hit hard by falling global prices for key commodities, leading to a sharp drop in profits. And yet, employment and mine output keep growing, suggesting that miners are focused on building assets for a future upswing
The following data comes form PwC's recently released annual BC mining survey, which uses input from 37 of BC's biggest mining companies
Sector hit hard by falling prices
Company incomes down
Declining revenues in the last few years have taken a particularly big hit out of company profits.
Miners controlling spending
Loss of revenue has led BC miners to cut down on their capital spending in order to conserve cash. However, they still invested considerably more in 2013 than they have earlier in the decade. Most of that spending went to surface construction and equipment.
And they keep exploring
Similarly, the loss of company profits does not seem to have significantly slowed down spending on exploration and development, at least not compared to the rest of the decade.
Production keeps growing
Despite falling prices, BC miners have steadily increased their overall shipments since 2009. Prices may not be as good as they once were, but BC miners are still moving a lot of minerals.
New mines spur activity
While BC miners are clearly facing big challenges on the financial side, there appears to be a strong appetite to discover and develop new mines. The increase in total assets is largely a reflection of development and production at two newer BC mines, Mount Milligan and Red Chris.
Creating more and more jobs
Perhaps the strongest illustration of BC miners staying active in tough times is the employment picture. The number of workers directly employed by BC mining companies has increased steadily over the full eight years shown in these figures.