Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg News

Mining Companies Face Ratings Cuts as Water Scarcity Lift Costs

February 14, 2013

Global mining companies may see increased pressure on their credit ratings as environmental issues including water scarcity add to capital and operating costs, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Smaller, less-diversified mining companies in water-scarce regions such as South America are most vulnerable, Moody’s said in a report dated yesterday. Larger producers including BHP Billiton Ltd., Rio Tinto Group and Anglo American Plc will also be adversely affected given their global operations and willingness to operate in remote and arid regions, it said.

“Water scarcity is already changing the mining landscape as environmental legislation becomes more stringent,” Andrew Metcalf, a Moody’s analyst, said in the report. “Operating in some countries increases political risk as mining companies’ water supplies can be restricted if the needs of communities increase.”

Mining companies are already competing with local communities for limited water resources, and environmental rules and permit requirements are adding to the cost of new mines and project time-lines, Moody’s said.

Rio, BHP and Anglo have the expertise and financial strength necessary to build complex water procurement systems for large-scale projects and are likely to become preferred partners in water-scarce countries seeking to benefit from their natural resources as a result, the rating company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Soraya Permatasari in Melbourne at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at; Andrew Hobbs at

blog comments powered by Disqus