JOHANNESBURG Large global mining companies have cut back on investments despite a turnaround in profitability and a spike in commodity prices, a PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) report revealed on Wednesday.
Capital expenditure, an measure of confidence in future returns, fell 41 percent in 2016 to a record low of $50 billion.
"Everyone is gun shy at the moment and they are not investing until they are very comfortable that the returns will be there," PwC director and report co-author Andries Rossouw told journalists on the sidelines of a junior mining conference in Johannesburg.
The report showed that profitability in the industry recovered to an aggregate net profit of $20 billion from $28 billion in losses in 2015.
Glencore (GLEN.L), Anglo American Plc (AAL.L) and Rio Tinto (RIO.AX), were among the forty companies included in PwC's 14th report on the industry.
This one drew on analyses of performance and global trends from financial information during 12-month reporting periods for companies between 1 April 2015 and 31 December 2016.
(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Ed Stoddard and Elaine Hardcastle)