events archive

A beginner’s guide to the mining industry

6:45pm, Monday 13 May 2019, Yellow Room, Remark! Events, 18 Leather Lane, London EC1N 7SU

The world economy relies heavily on the mining industry to supply metals and many other raw materials for everything from consumer goods to construction materials, from roads to jewellery. By one estimate, the global mining industry attracted revenues of $600 billion in 2017, while trades on the London Metals Exchange run into trillions of dollars per year. Yet the industry is poorly understood, rarely attracting anything other than negative publicity around environmental concerns or working conditions, despite its importance to the modern economy and rising living standards around the world.

In the session, Robert Fig, a consultant with over 40 years’ experience in commodity markets, will look at the importance of the mining industry to the world economy, and the consequence of the 2008 crisis for the sector and its subsequent direction.

What does underinvestment mean for commodity prices now and why is the market so cyclical? How has the industry responded to lower prices and what’s new in technology and risk management for the sector? With China consuming half the world’s metals and now promoting its Belt and Road Initiative, what is China’s role now and in the future?

This session will be a great opportunity to learn more about a vitally important but little-discussed industry.

Listen to the lecture and discussion



Robert Fig
principal, Metals Risk Team, a commodity risk-management consultancy; previously worked at ArcelorMittal and London Metals Exchange


Futures exchange, Wikipedia
Futures contract, Wikipedia
No, We’re Not Running Out of Minerals, Tim Worstall, FEE, November 2017
The world’s biggest mining companies in 2018, Mining Technology, June 2018
Glencore’s attempt at reinventing mining has run into trouble, The Economist, December 2018 (may require registration)

Guardian business section pages on specific companies:

BHP Billiton
Rio Tinto