CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE: CEOs’ cash bonuses decline in ’09

Salaries are up and cash bonuses are down for CEOs, according to the "2009 Mining Industry Salary Survey", con...

Salaries are up and cash bonuses are down for CEOs, according to the "2009 Mining Industry Salary Survey", conducted by Coopers Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Average annual base pay this year rose to $484,000, compared to $443,000 in 2007. However, the Canada-wide average bonus paid to CEOs declined to 61% of the annual base pay in 2009 from 79% in 2008. The average cash bonus paid to a CEO was $303,000, bringing total compensation to $670,000.


Nice money if you can get it. But it comes with a price. CEOs take on a world of worry. The questions they wrestle with can make or break their companies. Worse yet, they must deal with things over which they have no control, for instance, metal prices.


The study also pointed out that over 80% of mine site salaried staff are eligible for some form of short-term incentive plan. That is an increase of 21% since 59% of such employees were eligible in 2002. Bonuses paid to salaried staff averaged 15%, a decline of only 2% since 2008.


Average total cash compensation for all mine site positions compared across Canada showed an average rise in 2009 of only 1.45% compared to 6.0% in 2008 over 2007 and 3.4% in 2007 over 2006.


Mine site staff appear to be doing well, particularly in light of the global financial meltdown of the last year. The average increase may be small this year, but at least for those still having jobs at Canadian mines, the trend is upward.


I often think that I am underpaid, but that is a perpetual state of affairs for writers. Those who make the most money actually produce something physical that can be sold on the market, perhaps gold or copper. The skilled men and women who are Canada's mines and mineral processors deserve their salaries and bonuses for doing just that.


The Coopers - PwC surveys this year covered 44 typical corporate mining office positions, 58 salaried mine site positions and 11 field exploration positions. The 2009 salary survey database contains information on 13,676 individuals, 6,160 from Canada and 7,516 from the United States. In total, 250 North America mine sites are represented in the 2009 update (107 in Canada and 143 in the United States). For information on how to obtain copies of the report please contact Lou Vujanich, 604-632-4611, or [email protected].


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