What Goes Around Comes Around: Energy Prices Dig Into Miners’ Profits

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Bills are rising after a rally in oil, prices for raw materials are also rocketing higher and workers are demanding higher wages in many countries

The world’s biggest mining companies, flush with profits from a recent commodity-market rebound, are grappling with a new challenge: how to keep rising costs from eating into those hard-earned gains.

For much of this decade, mining companies have prioritized reducing how much they spend to dig up each ton of the commodities they sell, after a market slump made it harder to turn a profit. Companies including BHP Billiton Ltd., Rio Tinto Ltd. and Glencore PLC introduced drones and driverless trucks, cut tens of thousands of...