JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - 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.
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