The mining sector is not homogenous. On the BlackRock World Mining Trust, we believe this year its fortunes may be particularly disparate, as a range of factors weigh on individual commodities and regions. As we see it, there are three key factors that will determine the performance of mining companies for the remainder of 2024: geopolitics, global growth and infrastructure spending.

Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

Geopolitics and the mining sector

Geopolitical tensions continue to ratchet higher. There are now a number of geopolitical pressure points across the globe that are likely to be destabilising in the year ahead, including Russia/Ukraine, Israel/Gaza and China/USA. The situation in the Middle East is now threatening to spill over into neighbouring, commodity-rich states, even if supply disruptions have been limited so far.

Equally, even in the absence of military conflict, geopolitical tensions raise the prospect of protectionism over certain commodities and disruptions to supply chains. This is already being seen in the Suez Canal, as Houthi rebels attack shipping. In our view, investing in natural resources equities may represent an effective way to hedge portfolios against these mounting geopolitical risks.

China’s economic outlook

China remains one of the most important economy for commodity demand, particularly on the mining side and is an important area to watch when investing in mining and metal assets. In 2023, the reopening of the economy was disappointing, with data from China’s property market particularly weak. For now, we see few signs that the data is getting better.

That said, neither does it appear to be getting worse. There is also the possibility of stimulus from the Chinese government in the year ahead. This is already being seen at the margin and the government may decide to raise it further if the economy continues to weaken. The strength of the US economy is, to some extent, compensating for the weakness in China. We believe that the natural resources sector already appears to be pricing in a more negative macro picture than broader equity markets.

Infrastructure spending

Infrastructure spending, particularly to support the transition to green energy options, should be a demand driver for a range of commodities for the longer-term. The shift to renewables may see a move from an energy system dependent on hydrocarbons to one based on metals, with implications for the mining sector.

This transition cannot happen without certain key commodities. Power from offshore wind, as an example, is 2.4x more copper-intensive than power from coal and 3.3x more steel-intensive[1]. Supply for many of these commodities remains constrained, with mines ageing and relatively few new sources of supply. Faith in the energy transition doesn’t mean we are negative on oil, however, as the constrained supply side for oil gives us confidence in a period of higher-for-longer prices.

These factors could create structural demand for specific mined commodities in the year ahead, even if some softness in global economic growth will not lift all boats. At the same time, mining companies continue to show strong capital discipline, which should constrain supply in many areas. High dividends and lower valuations remain a feature of the mining sector and we believe it remains a fertile area for stockpickers.

For more information on how to access the opportunities presented by the mining sector, please visit

Risk Warnings

Investors should refer to the prospectus or offering documentation for the funds full list of risks.

Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future results and should not be the sole factor of consideration when selecting a product or strategy.

Changes in the rates of exchange between currencies may cause the value of investments to diminish or increase. Fluctuation may be particularly marked in the case of a higher volatility fund and the value of an investment may fall suddenly and substantially. Levels and basis of taxation may change from time to time.

Trust specific risks

Counterparty Risk: The insolvency of any institutions providing services such as safekeeping of assets or acting as counterparty to derivatives or other instruments, may expose the Fund to financial loss.

Currency Risk: The Fund invests in other currencies. Changes in exchange rates will therefore affect the value of the investment.

Emerging Markets: Emerging markets are generally more sensitive to economic and political conditions than developed markets. Other factors include greater 'Liquidity Risk', restrictions on investment or transfer of assets and failed/delayed delivery of securities or payments to the Fund.

Gearing Risk: Investment strategies, such as borrowing, used by the Trust can result in even larger losses suffered when the value of the underlying investments fall.

Gold / Mining Funds: Mining shares typically experience above average volatility when compared to other investments. Trends which occur within the general equity market may not be mirrored within mining securities.

Important Information

In the UK this is issued by BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 12 Throgmorton Avenue, London, EC2N 2DL. Tel: + 44 (0)20 7743 3000. Registered in England and Wales No. 02020394. For your protection telephone calls are usually recorded. Please refer to the Financial Conduct Authority website for a list of authorised activities conducted by BlackRock.

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Net Asset Value (NAV) performance is not the same as share price performance, and shareholders may realise returns that are lower or higher than NAV performance.

The investment trusts listed above currently conduct their affairs so that their securities can be recommended by IFAs to ordinary retail investors in accordance with the Financial Conduct Authority’s rules in relation to nonmainstream investment products and intend to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The securities are excluded from the Financial Conduct Authority’s restrictions which apply to non-mainstream investment products because they are securities issued by investment trusts. Investors should understand all characteristics of the funds objective before investing. For information on investor rights and how to raise complaints please go to available in local language in registered jurisdictions.

BlackRock has not considered the suitability of this investment against your individual needs and risk tolerance. To ensure you understand whether our product is suitable, please read the fund specific risks in the Key Investor Document (KID) which gives more information about the risk profile of the investment. The KID and other documentation are available on the relevant product pages at We recommend you seek independent professional advice prior to investing.

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[1]Energy Monitor - Weekly data: Why keeping an eye on copper is vital for the energy transition - 17 May 2021

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Issue Date: 15 Apr 2024