The National Mining Association (NMA) reports that “mining CEOs are cautious but still confident, concluded PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in its annual global CEO survey report, Leading in Extraordinary Times,” on how American CEOs see the future shaping up for their businesses in 2015 and beyond. The survey found that mining CEOs were more concerned about the economic outlook than their counterparts in other industries. However, “they are nearly as confident of being able to generate higher revenues in the future,” says the report’s mining sector author, PwC Global Mining Leader John Gravelle. “They’re looking to China especially, but also to the US and India to produce much of this growth,” he said.Mining CEOs expressed concern over the potential for higher taxes, geopolitical turmoil, government indebtedness and deficit handling issues, social instability, as well as bribery and corruption.Regulation tops the list of concerns, with a full 84% being concerned it could be a disrupting force in the future. In addition, 72% of CEOs think threats to growth have grown in the last three years, compared to 59% of all CEOs. Worry over increasing tax burden was a concern of 88% of mining CEOs. Like their counterparts, they are preparing for “major upheavals as various global megatrends converge.”The report finds CEOs responding to possible challenges ahead by simplifying business models and focusing on core assets. Some are planning to reduce or share risk by forming new alliances and partnerships to de-risk projects and spread out capital expenditures.A little more than half of mining CEOs plan to hire more employees this year and 56% are concerned with being able to attract workers with the right skills.The majority of CEOs recognised the strategic importance of digital technologies such as analytics, battery and power technologies and cyber security tools, but they did not seem as concerned as their counterparts regarding the speed at which technology is advancing.