The 2015 metals outlook

Elevated view of Gold Mining processing plant

In 2014 has been a shaky year for the mining industry, with massive write downs, layouts, and projects being terminated or delayed. In some cases exploration has come to a standstill, and for all of the primary metals there have been enormous decreases that have originated from record high prices. The story before last year was that metals such as iron ore and gold combined with high coal prices and created the mining boom, enhancing the national economy as it flew on China's coat tails.

While the beginning of the year will see a continued decline in national mining revenues, it's expected to pick up toward 2016 and it's expected to pick up quickly - roughly around 7.1 per cent. It is expected that this trend will be sustained with even greater increases predicted for revenues in 2016/17.

Here are the most important 4 things that lie ahead in terms of metals outlook for the coming year:

1.    Iron ore and copper will continue to decline

The iron ore fall will continue in 2015 as the commodity has consistently been on a downward trend. Important consumers such as Chinese steel mills aren't showing signs that higher prices are required. The same situation is written on the walls for copper, which has long been a dying industry. While there is very small growth expected in the next five or so year, the global cost of copper will see a slow and steady decline.

2.    The future of gold remains in the hands of the US

Gold has remained mostly at a high price, but there have been a few serious rises and troughs that we won't see in 2015. Commodity prices will go through a rationalisation phase with an increase in costs per ounce, and these will plummet as the market becomes more refined. Australian producers will have to wait and see what happens with the movement of the Aussie dollar against the greenback to find out the future of gold. Suffice to say that a drop would certainly help sure up national gold miners and insure them against an impending downturn.

3.    Silver, zinc and lead have a bright future

Silver is expected to be likely over the next few years in the sense that it is an investment metal and demand for it is expected to expand, although prices for silver may hit a low in the short term. Zinc will have a steady future in 2015, although it does require most caution in response to the recent upsurge we have seen. Lead will also experience an increase in demand as consumer need more power and batteries.

4.    Nickel will stabilise

There are positive trends predicted in the coming months and years, with the Australian dollar trading at about 85-87 cents to the greenback, which will be good news for nickel producers in Australia. New firms are also expected to join the industry in search of new nickel resources.

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