Press release

6 Feb. 2020 Toronto, CA

EY Canadian Mining Eye index ends 2019 on a high

The EY Canadian Mining Eye index saw continued quarter-over-quarter growth in Q2 2019, up three percentage points from Q1 2019.

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  • EY Canadian Mining Eye index saw 11% growth in Q4 2019
  • Major investment banks anticipate copper prices to rise in 2020
  • Gold, nickel prices expected to stay stable in near- to medium-term  

(Toronto, February 6, 2020) The EY Canadian Mining Eye index rallied after a third-quarter decline to end the year on a high note with an 11 percentage point increase in Q4 2019.

Index comparisons Q4 2019 Q3 2019
Canadian Mining Eye index 11% -3%
UK Mining Eye -5% 0%
S&P/TSX Composite Metals and Mining index 2% 2%
Major index 10% 3%

Gold prices saw a 3% increase, following a 4% gain in the previous quarter — in part, driven by the US Federal Reserve’s dovish stance. Copper prices were also up, growing 8% in Q4 2019, while nickel and zinc experienced respective 19% and 6% declines.

“At year-end, and soon thereafter, major investment banks were expecting copper prices to rise in 2020, influenced by low inventories, supply constraints and growing demand,” says Jay Patel, EY Canada Mining & Metals Transactions Leader. “However, the coronavirus is creating uncertainty, which we anticipate will impact these expectations for the year ahead.”

Nickel prices are likely to maintain elevated levels as the current supply deficit is expected to continue in 2020. While zinc prices may face downward pressure as a result of an expected surplus in the near term on the back of higher production from Chinese smelters.

“Trade negotiations happening south of the boarder, coupled with projected global growth, geopolitical issues and the uncertain economic environment resulting from the coronavirus outbreak are all likely to create volatility in gold prices this year,” says Jeff Swinoga, EY Canada Mining & Metals Co-Leader. “However, prices are expected to maintain their positive momentum in the near-term thanks to the US Federal Reserve’s stance and negative rate policy adopted by jurisdictions like Europe, Japan and Switzerland.”

Special section – Q&A with Denis Larocque, President & CEO, Major Drilling International

The EY Canadian Mining Eye Q4 2019 features an interview with Denis Larocque, President & CEO at Major Drilling International, who shares how technology and innovation are helping to uniquely position the company for success and what lies on the horizon for drilling. 

Larocque tells EY: “We see our clients embracing technology more and more. It’s not unusual for clients to ask for in-depth drill rig data, such as penetration rates and other information, to inform their geological interpretation and mine design. This is a trend we’re embracing at Major Drilling and expect to see increase.”

To access the complete interview and the EY Canadian Mining Eye Q4 2019, visit

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