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Role of Mining in National Economies: Mining Contribution Index (3rd edition)

26 October 2016

Role of Mining in National Economies: Mining Contribution Index (3rd edition) draws attention to the significant contribution of mining and metals to the global economy and to the economies of an increasing number of low- and middle-income countries. This third edition, produced at a time of considerable turbulence in international commodity markets, shows that despite the metals prices downturn a great many low and middle-income economies remained dependent on the mineral sector in 2014. This edition also includes the biannual Mining Contribution Index (MCI), updated and including a new indicator – mineral rents as a percentage of GDP.

Summary

  • The 2016 MCI confirms that many of the most mineral dependent countries continued to become even more dependent on the economic contribution of mining between 2011 and 2014, despite the fall in commodity prices. In light of this, getting the framework that governs mineral resources right will be increasingly important if governments are to insulate their economies from vulnerability to the commodity cycle.
  • There was significant change at the top of the rankings in 2016 with just over half of the top 25 of these countries changing since 2014. The top-ranked countries in 2016 were the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Botswana. Most of the top 25 were classified as lower- or lower-middle income countries, with the exception of the higher-income economies of Australia and Chile.
  • The major fallers in the rankings since 2010 included Brazil and Zambia. New entrants to the top 20 in 2014 included Colombia, Germany and Poland, along with DRC and Mozambique – the only two low-income countries to feature. Low- and middle-income countries continued to show the highest levels of mining dependence.
  • This third edition, produced at a time of considerable turbulence in international commodity markets, shows that despite the metals prices downturn a great many low and middle-income economies remained dependent on the mineral sector. A dependence jolted only slightly by the commodity markets downturn.
  • This reinforces the need for the contribution of mining and metals to national economies to be thought about more strategically as a catalyst for sustainable development. The magnitude of its value to the economies of many lower-income countries gives it and its stakeholders a clear responsibility to be ever more conscious of how mining and metals might contribute to sustainable development.