Lies, Damn Lies and Cash Costs

Mark Twain popularised the phrase (attributed to 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli) that there are “three kind of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”. We’ve been spending some time looking at the mining industry due to recent price falls, and here the most prolific and unscrupulous statistic of choice is known as ‘cash costs’. Cash costs are ostensibly presented to investors to strip out the impact of non-cash accounting charges, like depreciation, from a miner’s operating results. It’s not usually wise to remove depreciation, which tends to be a real economic expense, because it can grossly overstate...

Mark Twain popularised the phrase (attributed to 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli) that there are “three kind of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

We’ve been spending some time looking at the mining industry due to recent price falls, and here the most prolific and unscrupulous statistic of choice is known as ‘cash costs’.

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