After the UK left the European Union on 31 January, GlobalData asked the readers of Mining Technology to vote on what they expected Brexit’s effect on the UK mining industry to be. According to the 2,094 respondents, 29% saw the move as strongly positive, 28% strongly negative, 16% slightly negative, 10% slightly positive and 17% neutral.
GlobalData’s Mining Technology writer Yoana Cholteeva comments: “Brexit has already had a significant effect on the UK mineral industry. Market conditions and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit saw UK-based operator Sirius Minerals cancel a US$500m bond sale to finance its polyhalite Woodsmith project in North Yorkshire in September 2019, a mining project which would have become the biggest in the UK.
“While the mining industry is a global industry and somewhat protected, any lingering uncertainty until new trade deals are arranged will be seen as negative.
“Another field that might suffer as a result of Brexit is research and development (R&D) in the industry. In addition, there is a good chance that less funds will be available for the establishment of such projects and it might become more difficult for the UK to keep pace with international technological developments in the industry.
“On the other hand, a combined 39% of the readers who voted in our poll believe that Brexit will positively or slightly positively impact the UK mining industry.
“A mixture of investors rushing to commodities as a safe haven investment and a low pound value making assets appeal to foreign investors are among the reasons there could be elevated interest in the UK mining industry.
“The industry remains hopeful that this will open new doors to future investments and partnerships with non-European major mineral traders such as China, US, and Australia. In addition, UK mining could benefit from UK-established mining laws and regulations which in the future can be specifically designed to benefit UK operators.”
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