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List of top Aussie miners has notable churn

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(Kitco News) - About half the companies on PwC list of Australian miners saw a drop in market capitalization.

PwC highlighted the broad-sector value decline in its study, Aussie Mine 2019, which was released this month. The report compiles Australia's mid-tier miners, 50 of the largest ASX mining companies with a market capitalization of less than $5 billion as of 30 June 2019.

With precious metals soaring and many base metals grinding lower, there has been notable churn on the list.

"While overall, producers saw their market capitalization increase by 17% on average, it was a story of mixed success with many rising standouts in gold and some in iron ore but mostly falls among the coal and lithium producers," writes the authors of the report.

"[The] market capitalization of almost half (24) of the MT50 fell this year, compared with only four last year, 17 in 2017 and 13 in 2016 – hopefully not a 'canary in the coal mine' situation for future years."

The companies that are prospering were enough to push the collective higher. PwC said market capitalization has continued to grow for the MT50, increasing by 9% to $64 billion.

"This is the highest it's been for any of our MT50 since the boom times of 2011."

PwC said revenues are up markedly, a 28% increase in revenue period on period, and a 46% increase in profit before tax. PwC said impairments are down 31%, their lowest levels since 2011.

"Healthier balance sheets as a result of repayment of debt and rewarding shareholders with payment of dividends, yet cash in the vault is up 11%."

PwC sees some opportunities for continued growth: new export markets in emerging Asian nations; better branding through environmental and social governance reporting and increased productivity through automation. However, the U.S. and China trade war spat does darken the horizon for miners.

Australia made an out-sized impact on mining as a whole in 2019. Cashed-up St Barbara bought Atlantic Gold Corp in a blockbuster deal for C$722 million ($536 million) in the spring. Canaccord bought a beachhead for deal-making Downunder by paying paying $17.6 million for Australian-based Paterson Securities in June.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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