The client was a major mining supplies producer looking for insight into the mining industry in Africa across a wide range of commodities including coal, cobalt, zinc, copper, gold, uranium, iron ore, phosphate rock and platinum.
The issue facing the client was to determine the most suitable location for its sales effort in Africa given the changing geography of demand as new projects come into production over the next 10 years.
Our recommendation was that the focus of mining in some commodities would change countries within Africa in a short period of time due to depletions and new openings. This meant that the sales effort and investment should be focused on the future locations of operations.
CRU was able to meet the needs of the client in a number of ways from data held throughout the organisation:
- By briefing the client on each commodity during a conference call with each of our commodity experts and providing the client with the opportunity to interview and discuss the market with a wide range of experts in a very short period of time.
- The information communicated in the conference calls was supplemented with a document highlighting key regions for each commodity, and our expectations for supply changes in the medium term.
- Individual mine-level data was also supplied to the client for all of the commodities, providing industry cost curves and operation profiles. This was to help the client to understand the resilience of different operations in the light of changing commodity prices.
- Finally a demand forecast for technical ammonium nitrate was delivered, highlighting key growth regions in Africa.
As a result of this work the client was able to rapidly gain an understanding of the African mining sector and design its market strategy appropriately.