Journal 2020#1


Assessment of Competitiveness of Regional Mining and Metallurgical Clusters

Mining and metallurgical industry, as well as clusters based on it, historically occupy an important place in the economic structure of the Urals. Given that the Ural mining and metallurgical clusters are export-oriented, the problem of global competitiveness remains relevant. A large segment of the Russian academic literature is focused on studying cluster competitiveness. These studies are mainly based on traditional methods of efficiency analysis, including the analysis of sales activities and financial situation of enterprises. At the same time, in the world mining and metallurgical industry, a method of cash cost is actively used for analysing competitiveness. Russian academic literature, however, lacks works examining the use of cash costs for studying the competitiveness of mining and metallurgical clusters. This study suggests and tests a new approach to assessing the international competitiveness of the Ural mining and metallurgical clusters, based on the method of the cash cost calculation. The paper discusses the methodological aspects of calculating the cash cost indicator. Cash costs were calculated for the enterprises constituting the core of the Ural mining and metallurgical cluster. We compared the obtained value with the cash cost indicator of one of the worlds largest copper producers Codelco, as well as with the maximum price cost for this industry achieved in 2018. The calculation results have shown that the Ural mining and metallurgical clusters are commercially viable in the world. This fact indicates the presence of various competitive advantages in the world market, including a relatively great amount of useful components in the producing fields. The main competitive disadvantages are the widespread use of a more expensive underground mining method and the gradual exhaustion of the existing rich deposits.