Mine cash costs and margins - who hurts most?

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Report summary

Using our detailed mine cost research we compared average total cash plus sustaining capital costs, and resulting cash margins, across the copper, nickel, zinc, gold, bauxite, coal and iron ore sectors from 2012 through to 2014. Most commodities show strong falls in average operational cash margins due to sinking prices combined with increasing or flat cash costs. Copper, gold and export metallurgical coal have the greatest reduction in margins, with drops ranging from -26% to -33%. ...

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Mine cash costs and margins - who hurts most?

    PDF 536.62 KB

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Measuring mine costs and margins – the right tool for the job
  • Average mine cash costs and margins
  • Profitability and margins
  • Breakeven costs and the cost curve

Tables and charts

This report includes 6 images and tables including:


  • Global average 'normal' cash costs and margins 2012 - 2014


  • Change in overall cash margin 2012 - 2014
  • 2013 - Total cash plus sustaining cost and cash margins ('normal' costing, % of price)
  • Overall cash margin ('normal' costing, % of price) 2012 - 2014
  • Mining industry cash costs and margins (base metal 'normal' costing example)
  • Typical nickel cost curve C1 and Total cash plus sustaining capital cost

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