According to The Australian Financial Review, miners are well aware of their past missteps and will keep a greater focus on costs and sustainable expansion strategies to take advantage of the next upswing in prices.
"I think we reached the bottom in November, the market came out strongly for gold in January and February and now that sentiment is improving elsewhere and interest is cascading into base metals and other sectors," PCF Capital Group managing director Liam Twigger told The Australian Financial Review.
Emerging from survival mode after adjusting to a lower commodity price environment over the past few years, miners are beginning to look from predominantly optimisation and cost cutting to the next stage of growth possibilities.
There seems to be a fresh acceptance, from both investors and company executives, that the miners need to approach production growth more responsibly alongside continuing strict cost management strategies.
Those lessons ring particularly true for the gold sector which has been criticised in the past for chasing lower-grade and higher-cost ounces in a higher price environment to meet investors' desire for growth, before a sudden price drop rendered that production largely uneconomic.
"We haven't forgotten all that pain so the scars are still there," AngloGold Ashanti Australia senior vice-president Mike Erickson said of the gold sector.
"Everyone now is focusing on continuing to drive the costs lower so that you are protected if there is another downturn. So we are still jittery quite honestly about returning to the bad old days."
The gold industry hasn't been the only one to learn a few hard lessons.
"Every cloud has a silver lining and I reckon one for a lot of the mining industry has been we have been able to get more efficient, more innovative and we live to fight another day," lithium developer Pilbara Minerals chief executive Ken Brinsden said.
Mr Brinsden, a former managing director of iron ore junior Atlas Iron, said balancing growth and operational performance was a challenge for all emerging companies.
Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Nev Power said another key learning the industry could take into the next "boom" was to improve relationships with customers.
"We should be very focused on what our customers are doing and what their needs are and what is happening in their industry so we can match to suit them and provide them with the best service because ultimately they are the ones that are driving our business.
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