June 18, 2008

Mining Companies’ Revenues Rose 32 Percent in 2007, According to PricewaterhouseCoopers; Total Market Capitalization Grew 54 Percent in 2007

NEW YORK, June 18, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Revenues of the top 40 mining companies grew by 32 percent in 2007, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, "Mine* - As good as it gets?" The fifth annual report comprehensively analyzes the financial performance of the global mining industry and discusses current trends in the industry by examining the top 40 global mining companies, as measured by market capitalization.

Strong commodity prices were the predominant driver of the revenue growth; however, relative price growth in key commodities such as copper, iron ore, and gold was lower than in the prior year. The report notes that, as revenues increased, so did costs. Operating costs rose 38 percent in 2007, thereby reducing margins. The increase in costs was driven by higher energy, labor, materials, transportation, and contractor costs resulting from the overall surge in the industry.

As with prior years, copper remained the dominant source of revenue for the top 40 companies, accounting for 28 percent of total revenue. Coal and iron ore each accounted for 12 percent of the total, but are expected to grow in the coming year due to bulk commodity price increases agreed to in early 2008 for certain seaborne coal and iron ore. Nickel contributed 10 percent of the top 40's revenue, up from five percent the prior year, driven by a 50 percent average price increase in 2007.

While the mining industry may have underperformed the markets during the technology-led boom of the 1990s, it began its current trend of impressive growth in early 2003 when strong demand, primarily from emerging markets, helped push commodity prices higher. Beginning in late 2005, mining stocks have enjoyed returns that clearly outperformed the S&P 500 and Dow Jones indices, and shareholders reaped the benefits of their good performance. Total shareholder returns for the top 40 averaged 119 percent in 2007, compared to 55 percent in 2006.

The total market capitalization of the global mining industry continued its strong performance, achieving a 54 percent growth rate in 2007, as measured by the HSBC Global Mining Index. Companies from emerging markets have shown particularly high growth and now comprise 36 percent of the top 40's market capitalization, compared to only 14 percent in 2003.

"Two thousand seven continued to be great for the global mining industry," said Steve Ralbovsky, U.S. mining leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Record commodity prices and continued growth in emerging economies have let the top mining companies avoid the slow downs we have seen in other sectors. However, 2008 may be less robust as the credit crunch spreads to all companies' market valuations and may affect overall demand for commodities. Mining companies will have to control climbing costs to maintain the growth rates we've seen up to this point."

About "Mine* - As good as it gets?"

The results aggregated in the report have been sourced from publicly available information, primarily annual reports and financial reports available to shareholders, for the 40 largest mining companies by market capitalization. The analysis includes major companies in all parts of the world mining a wide variety of minerals. For more information and to access the full report, visit: www.pwc.com/mining

About PricewaterhouseCoopers

PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. More than 146,000 people in 150 countries across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP or, as the context requires, the PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

This news release was distributed by PrimeNewswire, www.primenewswire.com

 CONTACT:  PricewaterhouseCoopers           Clare Chachere           (512) 867-8737           [email protected]