Mining & Metals
Turning first to base metal mining, currency fluctuations have always been important, as revenue for base metal concentrates is in US Dollars while costs are in Euro; the intricacies of the Dollar-Euro-Sterling relationships resulting from Brexit issues are complex, but a strong Dollar as currently experienced is generally good for Irish base metal production- now confined to Tara Mines in Co Meath. The same is true of gold production which is confined at present to a modest output by Galantas in Northern Ireland. With the development of the Curraghinalt project, a strong Dollar gold price will be beneficial, as will a weaker Sterling.
The Sterling – Euro exchange rate is central, as weaker Sterling makes UK products and services more competitive. This effects aggregates, industrial minerals and cement supplies. Products and services from the UK are cheaper post the Brexit launch of June 2016, putting pressure on RoI companies. Aggregate exports to the UK from the RoI are limited, while those from Northern Ireland are priced in Sterling.
A stronger Euro effects delivery of professional services to the UK and makes UK providers re-examine the Irish market. Of course, several UK based consultants have had Irish subsidiaries for many years; a question arises as to what extent free movement of staff can continue, post Brexit.