Mining is a process of extraction of valuable non-renewable resources from the earth and sea. Several high-tech-industries across the world depend on the supply of commodities from underground such as minerals and metals. The mining sector plays an important role in the world’s economy. Key markets which depend on mining include utilities, the primary metals industry, non-metallic minerals industry (glass, cement, lime), and the construction industry.
Throughout the world, there are several mining firms, which are engaged in the extraction of minerals and metals.
Here are the top 10 largest mining companies in the world by revenue in 2016.
Glencore: Glencore, a Switzerland-based diversified natural resources company and a major producer and marketer of more than 90 commodities, has reported $153bn revenues for the year 2016. Its diversified operations consist of around 150 mining and metallurgical, oil production and agricultural assets. Glencore’s industrial and marketing activities are supported by a global network of more than 90 offices located in over 50 countries. Glencore's customers include companies in the automotive, steel, power generation, oil and food processing sectors. The company employs more than 155,000 people, including contractors.
Image: Lomas Bayas Copper Mine, Chile. Photo courtesy of Glencore.
Rio Tinto: Rio Tinto, an Australian-British multinational and one of the world's largest metals and mining corporations, has reported $33.8bn revenues in 2016. The London-based company operates through five product groups – aluminium, copper, diamonds and minerals, energy and iron ore. The aluminium product group is involved in alumina, bauxite and primary aluminum production. The copper product group is engaged in copper, with valuable by products of gold, molybdenum, silver and nickel production. The diamonds and minerals product group operates in mining, refining and marketing sectors. The energy product group includes thermal coal, coking coal and uranium. The company has a 51,000-strong workforce in around 35 countries.
BHP Billiton: BHP Billiton, which operates under a dual listed company structure with two parent companies – BHP Billiton Ltd and BHP Billiton Plc, has reported $30.9bn revenues in 2016. It is among the world’s top producers of major commodities, including iron ore, metallurgical coal, copper and uranium. In May 2017 with much of the former Billiton assets having been disposed of, BHP Billiton began to rebrand itself as BHP, at first in Australia and then globally. BHP carries out a range of mining, processing, and oil and gas production operations across more than 25 nations. The Melbourne-headquartered company had a workforce of approximately 65,000 as of 30 June 2016.
Image: Western Australia Iron Ore operations of BHP Billiton. Photo courtesy of BHP.
Vale: Vale, a Brazilian multinational metals and mining firm and one of the largest logistics operators in Brazil, has reported $29.36bn revenues in 2016. It is the largest producer of iron ore and nickel in the world. The company also produces manganese ore, ferroalloys, metallurgical and thermal coal, platinum group metals, gold, silver, copper and cobalt. Vale, which is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York City, Paris, Hong Kong and Madrid, employs more than 76,000 people across 30 countries.
China Shenhua Energy Company: China Shenhua Energy, a subsidiary of Shenhua Group, is the largest coal mining state-owned enterprise in Mainland China, and the largest coal mining enterprise in the world. The company has reported RMB183.13bn ($27.45bn) revenues in 2016. It operates through four business segments – coal operations, power operations, railway operations, port operations and shipping operations. As of 31 December 2016, the total market capitalization of China Shenhua reached $44.9bn, ranking it the first among all listed coal companies worldwide and the fourth among all listed integrated mining companies globally. The company employed more than 90,000 employees as of December 2016.
Anglo American: Anglo American, a multinational mining company based in Johannesburg and London, has reported $21.14bn revenue for 2016. It is engaged in the exploration and mining of precious base metals and ferrous metals. The company’s portfolio of mining businesses include bulk commodities, including iron ore and manganese, metallurgical coal and thermal coal, base metals and minerals, copper, nickel, niobium and phosphates, and precious metals and minerals. It is the world's largest producer of platinum, with around 40% of world output. Anglo American owns 85% of De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company. Anglo American employed approximately 135,000 people in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America as of December 2015.
Coal India: Coal India, an Indian state-controlled coal mining company, is the largest coal producer in the world and contributes around 82% of the coal production in India. The Kolkata-based firm has reported revenue of $12.97bn for the year ended in March 2016. The company produces coal through seven wholly-owned subsidiaries – Eastern Coalfields, Bharat Coking Coal, Central Coalfields, Western Coalfields, South-Eastern Coalfields, Northern Coalfield and Mahanadi Coalfields. Its eighth wholly-owned subsidiary Central Mine Planning & Design Institute offers exploration, planning and technical support to all the seven subsidiaries. Coal India also has a wholly-owned subsidiary in Mozambique, Coal India Africana Limitada, to pursue coal mining opportunities in that country. It had more than 333,000 employees as of April 2015.
Image: Coal India produces coal through seven wholly-owned subsidiaries. Photo: courtesy of franky242/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Barrick Gold: Toronto-based Barrick Gold is the largest gold mining company in the world. The company also mines and explores silver, copper and nickel. Barrick, which produced 5.52 million ounces of gold in 2016, has reported $8.56bn revenues in last year. More than 75% of the company’s gold production comes from the Americas region, including Argentina, Canada, Dominican Republic, Peru and the US. The company also has mining operations and projects in Australia, Chile, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia and Zambia. Barrick had more than 11,000 employees as of 2016 end.
Newmont Mining: Newmont Mining is a gold producer, which is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and production of gold and copper properties in Australia, Canada, Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and the US. As of the third quarter of 2014, Newmont was the world's second-largest producer of gold, behind Barrick Gold. Last year, Newmont produced 4.9 million ounces of gold and reported revenue of $6.7bn. Approximately 12,400 people were employed by Newmont and Newmont subsidiaries as of 31 December 2016.
Fresnillo: Fresnillo is a Mexico-based precious metals mining company incorporated in the UK and headquartered in Mexico City. It is the world's leading primary silver producer and Mexico's second-largest gold miner. The company has generated $1.91bn revenues for 2016, a 32% rise compared to the previous year. Fresnillo has seven operating mines – Fresnillo, Saucito, Cienega, Herradura, San Julian, Soledad-Dipolos and Noche Buena. The company had more than 4,500 employees as of December 2016.