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Business

The top 10 mining stocks




The mining industry plays an important role in supporting the global economy. It excavates, processes and sells a variety of metals, minerals and energy products that are important for growth in many different sectors. Iron ore, for example, is a key component of steel, while the automotive and aerospace sectors use a lot of aluminum, and copper is essential for power generation.

Because of this, the mining sector is also an important one for investors. In 2018, the world's 40 largest listed mining companies withdrew $ 683 billion in revenue and generated $ 165 billion in EBITDA. That gave them the means to pay their shareholders a record dividend of $ 43 billion that year. These cash payments, as well as the sector's upside to the growing economy and key trends such as renewable energy, are why investors should consider digging into the mining industry and look more closely at some of the mining companies that thrive in this sector.

  An open pit copper mine.

Image Source: Getty Images.

Digging into the Top 10 Mining Shares

To assist in this pursuit, here are the top 10 listed mining companies in the world ranked by their market value, or the sum of the company's total available shares multiplied by the share price:

Mining Company [19659008] Market Cap

Commodities Produced

1. BHP Group (NYSE: BHP)

$ 129 billion

Copper, iron ore, coal, nickel, zinc, oil and natural gas

2. Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO)

$ 89.2 billion

Aluminum, iron ore, copper, diamonds, uranium and more minerals

3. Vale (NYSE: VALE)

$ 59.4 billion

Iron ore, copper, nickel, coal and manganese

4. Glencore (OTC: GLCNF)

$ 43.5 Billion

Coal, Copper, Nickel and Zinc

5. China Shenhua Energy (OTC: CSUAY)

$ 40.9 Billion

Coal

6. MMC Norilsk Nickel (OTC: NILSY)

$ 39.6 billion

Nickel, palladium, copper, platinum and rhodium

7. Newmont Goldcorp (NYSE: NEM)

$ 32.7 Billion

Gold

8. Anglo American (OTC: NGLOY) (LSE: AAL)

$ 32.4 billion

Diamonds, copper, coal, iron ore, platinum group metals, nickel and manganese

9. Barrick Gold (NYSE: GOLD)

$ 32.3 Billion

Gold and Copper

10. Grupo Mexico (OTC: GMBXF)

$ 18.6 billion

Copper

Data source: PwC, YCharts and the company's websites. Market value data is current from mid-September 2019.

Here is a closer look at the portfolios and growth prospects of these top 10 mining stocks.

1. BHP Group

BHP Group is the largest mining company in the world by market value. The company operates three segments:

  • Minerals Australia: This unit consists of the company's mines in that country. They produce copper, iron ore, coal and nickel.
  • Minerals Americas: BHP's mining operations in Canada, Chile, Peru, USA, Colombia and Brazil. The company's assets and projects in these countries focus on copper, zinc, iron ore, coal and potash.
  • Petroleum: This business area contains BHP's oil and gas operations in the United States, Australia and Trinidad and Tobago.

BHP's largest money producer in 2018 was iron ore, which accounted for 39% of the Group's underlying EBITDA. Copper followed with 28%, with coal of 19%, and oil and gas contributed 14% of the company's profitability.

The crown jewel of BHP's mining empire is Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO). It is an integrated system with five mines and four processing hubs that are connected to more than 600 miles of railway infrastructure and port facilities. WAIO produced 275 megatons (Mt) of iron ore in 2018. That production made BHP Group one of the three largest global producers.

Iron ore will continue to be a key part of BHP's portfolio in the future. That's because the company and its partners started the WAIO South Flank expansion in 2018. The company expects to complete the $ 3.6 billion project by 2021. It will help replace the 80-tonne Yandi mine production that will come to the end of life in the mid-2020s.

The company also has major projects underway in the copper and petroleum sectors. For example, the $ 2.5 billion Spence Growth alternative would add 185 kilotons of copper production to the line in 2021. Meanwhile, the $ 2.2 billion Mad Dog Phase 2 project could produce 140,000 barrels of oil per day when it starts in 2022. Finally, the company is developing the Jansen Potash mine in Canada. Projects like these will enable BHP Group to remain a top-level global resource company in the coming decade.

  A drawer dumping rocks in a large mining truck.

Image Source: Getty Images.

2. Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a large, diversified mining company. It operates the following business segments:

  • Aluminum: Rio Tinto is a world leader in aluminum, with assets in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Guinea, Iceland, New Zealand and Oman. It operates a portfolio of large-scale, high-quality bauxite mines and alumina refineries, as well as the world's most modern cost-competitive aluminum smelters.
  • Iron ore: The company operates the world's largest and most affordable integrated iron ore business in Australia.
  • Copper and Diamonds: Rio Tinto owns interests in copper mines in Mongolia, the United States and Chile. It is also one of the world's leading diamond producers, with mines in Canada and Australia.
  • Energy and minerals: Rio Tinto operates uranium mines in Australia and Namibia. The company is also a world leader in borates, one of the world's largest producers of salt-borne salt, and a leading manufacturer of high-quality titanium dioxide.

Iron ore is by far the largest Rio Tintos money maker. In 2018, it delivered 62% of the company's underlying EBITDA. Aluminum was second at 17% of the total, followed by copper and diamonds at 15%, and energy and minerals at 12%.

Rio Tinto plans to invest more than $ 6 billion annually through 2021 to maintain and increase its mining production. The company has projects to develop an underground copper mine in Mongolia, expand an existing copper mine in the United States, replace depleted iron ore mines in Australia and extend the life of a mineral deposit in South Africa. The company also has projects under development to potentially build a large copper mine in the United States and exploit a lithium deposit in Serbia. These investments and development projects have made Rio Tinto well positioned for the future growth demand, especially given the significant need for copper and lithium from the renewable energy sector.

3. Vale

Vale is a large diversified mining company based in Brazil. It is the world's largest producer of iron ore and nickel. Vale also produces significant amounts of copper, coal and manganese.

Vale operates 22 iron ore mines in the Carajas region of Brazil. Rocks in this region contain 67% iron ore, which is the highest concentration in the world. In addition to the mines, Vale operates iron ore pellet plant and has extensive rail and port infrastructure to expand its production to global markets. In 2018, Vale's iron ore business delivered 74% of sales, followed by nickel of 13% and copper of 6%.

Iron ore will remain crucial for Vale in the coming years. It spent $ 14.3 billion to develop the S11D iron ore complex. Production from that mine is on track to increase from 55 tonnes per year in 2018 and up to 90 tonnes per year by 2020. It is investing an additional $ 770 million to increase S11D's production capacity up to 100 tonnes by 2022 and to expand Northern Systems logistics capability so that it can handle 240 tonnes per year. These are just some of the projects the company has underway to improve its iron ore, copper, coal and nickel over the coming years. These projects ensure that Vale will remain a top mining company over the next decade.

4. Glencore

Glencore is one of the world's largest and most diversified natural resource companies. It operates 150 mining and metallurgical sites as well as oil and gas production equipment and agricultural facilities. In addition to producing goods, the company markets them from third-party miners.

In 2018, Glencore's industrial mining business earned most of its cash money to 33% of the Group's underlying EBITDA. Copper was a close second at 30%, followed by zinc at 15%, and nickel at 5%. The company's third-party marketing business, meanwhile, delivered an additional 15% of revenue in 2018.

Glencore expects to invest an average of $ 3.6 billion per year through 2021 to maintain its existing business and an additional $ 1.2 billion annually on expansion projects. These growth-related investments have the company well on track to increase coal production by 10% during that time frame, while copper production should increase 3% and zinc should increase 28%. The company also expects even faster production growth from smaller product groups such as cobalt (74% growth in 2021) and oil (183% higher by 2021). As a result, Glencore will be even more diversified in the future, even as revenues increase (assuming commodity prices work together).

5. China Shenhua Energy

China Shenhua Energy is the largest coal mining company in the world. The Chinese company operates coal mines in the country, as well as an integrated railway network and a port it uses to transport coal. China Shenhua also operates power plants that produce electricity from coal that it sells to the utilities.

Its coal mining business provided 61% of total revenues in 2018. Power generation was the next largest revenue contributor of 33% of the total, while chemical operations in rail, port, shipping and coal cut the remainder.

China was the world's largest coal consumer in 2018 at almost half of the global total. Although it will probably remain a leader in coal burning in the coming years, the country is working hard to reduce its use. Accordingly, forecasts by the International Energy Agency expect China's coal demand to fall 3% by 2023. It is likely to put pressure on China's China operations in Shenhua Energy in the coming years, which could cause it to slide down the leaderboard.

  Coal pieces in the hands of a miner.

Image Source: Getty Images.

6. MMC Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel)

Mining and Metallurgical Company (MMC) Norilsk Nickel is a Russian mining company. It is the world's leading manufacturer of high quality refined nickel and palladium. It is also the fourth largest producer of both platinum and rhodium and the 11th largest copper mine. Nornickel also produces some gold, silver, iridium, selenium, ruthenium and tellurium.

The company delivered 39% of the world's palladium in 2018, enabling metal to contribute 34% of Nornickel's revenue. It also produced 23% of the world's high quality nickel, which in turn supplied 28% of its turnover. Copper, meanwhile, was the next largest revenue contribution of 27% of the total, although Nornickel only produced 2% of the global copper supply.

Nornickel has several projects underway and in development to expand production in the coming years. Because of this, the company believes it can increase its nickel and copper production by 15% by 2025, while palladium and platinum production is well on the way to expanding by 25%. Given these growth prospects, Nornickel could climb to the global leaderboard in the coming years.

7. Newmont Goldcorp

Newmont Goldcorp is the world's best gold mining company by volume of production. The company was formed in 2019 following the merger of leading gold mining companies Newmont Mining and Goldcorp. The combined company operates a portfolio of 14 gold mines in North and South America, Africa and Australia, as well as shares in two joint ventures for gold mining (JV). In addition to gold, these mines also produce zinc, lead, silver and copper.

However, gold is by far the largest Newmont Goldcorp's largest revenue generator of more than 90% of the company's total amount in 2018. It should remain that way in the coming years given that the company aims to produce between 6 million and 7 million ounces of gold per year through 2025. The goal is to achieve this goal by investing in projects to maintain the existing mines and build new ones. These investments should help offset a decline in production as the legacy of the mines clears.

One of the projects it is considering is spending $ 650 to $ 750 million on the second expansion of the Tanami mine in Australia. The project would add 100,000 ounces of annual production in the period 2023 to 2027, while extending the mine to 2040. Projects like this would allow Newmont Goldcorp to remain one of the world's largest mining companies in the years to come.

8. AngloAmerican

AngloAmerican is a diversified mining company. It produces copper, coal, diamonds, iron ore, platinum group metals, nickel and manganese. The British company operates mines in Africa, North and South America and Australia.

AngloAmerican earned most of its money on coal in 2018, to 35% of total EBITDA. Copper was number two at 20%, followed by iron ore at 16%, and investment in De Beers – the world's leading diamond company – generated an additional 14% of revenue that year.

The company has several projects underway to expand mining production. In AngloAmerican's view, it can increase its copper equivalent production by 20% -25% from its 2018 level by 2023. It is a much faster growth rate than the large diversified peers, who forecast production growth levels in the region of 5% to 15%. timeframe. Due to faster growth, AngloAmerican looks set to climb the leaderboard in the coming years.

9. Barrick Gold

Barrick Gold, which expects to produce between 5.1 million and 5.6 million ounces in 2019, is among the world's best gold miners by volume. It operates mines in North and South America, Africa, the Middle East and Australia. In addition to gold, Barrick also produces copper. However, gold accounted for 91% of revenue in 2018, with copper a distant second at 7%.

Barrick Gold's focus is on the operation of Tier 1 mines. It defines that as a mine with more than 10 years remaining life, at least 500,000 ounces of annual gold production, and total cash costs per ounce in the lower half of gold mines operated by its listed peers. Thus, these mines should deliver a lot of stable and affordable production, which will allow Barrick to make more money in the long run.

Given this focus on owning Tier 1 mines, Barrick Gold does not aim to increase production. Because of this, the company's production may decline in the coming years when it sells non-grain mines. However, it has some tempting growth projects under development, including a 50% stake in Donlin Gold, which is one of the world's largest undeveloped gold deposits. As it develops these and other Tier 1 mining projects, Barrick should remain among the world's largest mining companies.

10. Grupo Mexico

Grupo Mexico is a diversified mining and industrial holding company in Mexico. It is one of the world's largest copper producers by volume. This is due to the majority of ownership in the top 10 copper producer Southern Copper (NYSE: SCCO) who operates mines in Mexico and Peru. Grupo Mexico also owns shares in mining companies in the United States and Spain. These units produce copper, silver, molybdenum, zinc, sulfuric acid, gold and selenium. However, copper accounts for 80% of mining operations.

In addition to mining, Grupo Mexico operates the largest rail transportation company in Mexico. It also owns shares in several industrial companies with a focus on design, construction, power generation and oil drilling services.

The crown jewel of Grupo Mexico's mining portfolio is its 88.9% stake in Southern Copper. That company produced 884 kilos of copper in 2018, making it the fifth largest in that sector. It is also one of the cheapest copper manufacturers in the world.

Southern Copper has the second largest known copper reserve in the world. Based on that, the company believes it can significantly increase its copper production in the coming years by investing in expanding existing mines and building new ones. In its estimation, copper production could reach 1800 kilotons by 2026. It will benefit Grupo Mexico's mining operations, potentially enabling it to climb to the top of the list in the coming years.

The world's largest mining companies have varying focus

The world's largest mining companies fall into two categories. Some operate a diversified portfolio of mines, while others focus on a specific commodity. This gives investors two different opportunity sets with very different risk / reward profiles.

Diversified miners, for example, give investors broad exposure to the entire sector, which helps to reduce risk. However, this dilutes an investor's exposure to specific metals that they may want to focus on, such as copper (for renewable energy) and gold (for security in economic downturns). More focused miners, on the other hand, have higher risk profiles, but also more direct upside potential. So investors who are interested in mining stocks must decide whether they want the lower risk profile of a diversified miner or the higher reward potential of a focused miner.

Another important factor to consider is the mining company's growth prospects. Those who focus on coal, for example, will be under pressure as fossil fuels become less important to drive the global economy in the future. Therefore, investors need to zero in on companies that are mining the right materials so they can take advantage of the sector's growth potential.



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