A survey conducted by Timetric's Mining Intelligence Center (MIC) has found that 35% of underground mines in Australia are expecting to cut spending across their operations over the next year.
During 2016, 65% of surface mining companies expect to maintain the same investment.
The survey was performed by collecting responses from 100 mine managers and other senior decision-makers in operating mines in Australia.
The respondents were asked to outline their predictions for changes in spending over the following 12 months.
Expected changes in spending varied by commodity and respondents in iron ore expected an increase in spending.
In the coal sector, 38% of the respondents expected reductions in spending, while 25% of them expected cuts in precious metals.
The results revealed that only 8% of surface operations are planning to reduce their spending while 35% expected no changes in expenditure.
However, 31% of surface operations may increase their investment in 2016.
Timetric MIC senior mining analyst Nez Guevara said: "This is interesting given the iron ore industry is currently experiencing a major downturn.
"However, the iron ore respondents all tended to be from large companies such as Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals, BHP and Roy Hill, which are all currently in the process of expanding their operations, as opposed to smaller producers such as BC Iron and Atlas Iron, whom are currently struggling."
Image: About 65% of surface mining companies expect to maintain investment during 2016. Photo: courtesy of duron123 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.