In this article we will take a look at the 15 largest mining companies by market cap. You can skip our detailed analysis of the mining industry’s outlook for 2021 and some of the major growth catalysts for bank stocks and go directly to 5 Largest Mining Companies by Market Cap.
The global mining sector is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing industries today. Nearly all the manufacturing industries acquire their raw materials from the mining industry and depend on them to make and sell their products. The operations of the mining companies involve the exploration and mining of precious and non-precious metals, minerals, and energy commodities like coal and petroleum. Along with manufacturing industries, several other sectors of every country depend on such commodities. Also, the mining industry contributes to the national GDP and represents a major proportion of the world’s economy. According to the U.S. Geological Survey data, the mines in the U.S. produced approximately $82.3 billion in minerals in 2020.
Some of the largest mining companies by market cap are headquartered in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. These countries remained the biggest contributors to the global mining industry in 2020. The annual report of PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PWC, shows that top mining companies in the U.S. generated revenue of $692 billion. Royal Gold, Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD), The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS), and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) are a few of the largest mining companies by market cap that are based in the U.S., conducting operations worldwide. Similarly, Canada's mining industry is also thriving. According to the State of Canada’s Mining Industry, total mining and mineral processing amounted to over $11.9 billion.
Though the numbers seem promising, the mining industry still faces a lot of issues. The uncertainty of commodity prices was always the matter of concern confronted by the mining industry. The onset of Covid-19 resulted in the closure of mining operations across the world and resulted in the price decline of many commodities. Data from McKinsey & Company suggested that the costs of some major products fell by 5-25%. Coal prices fell by 21% as currencies in key mining countries were devalued by 10-30%. Another problem faced by the mining sector is the damage this industry is causing to the environment. Today, this industry is responsible for 28% of the global emissions including the combustion of coal. Some of the largest mining companies are installing their sustainability committees to achieve decarbonization to ward off the matter.
The use of technology is also vital in this matter. The deployment of artificial intelligence, 3D modeling techniques, automated equipment, and drones play a very important role in revolutionizing the mining industry. Though only 0.5% of the mining equipment is fully electric, the number tends to increase in the future due to the low cost of electric vehicles. One of the largest mining companies by market cap, Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM), has started production at its all-electric Borden mine in Ontario, Canada. Along with this, many other mining operations have also collaborated with technology companies to invent solutions for deploying wireless networks underground. This collaboration has also boosted the Smart Mining Market, which is expected to reach $24.2 billion by 2026.
Despite all the problems, the mining industry is on the road to recovery. The Mining Global Market Report 2021 showed the expected growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4% reaching $1,845 billion in 2021. The use of renewable energy is one of the many reasons for this growth. Some of the largest mining companies are shifting towards renewable energy to reduce power costs and control emissions in the mines. BHP Group (NYSE: BHP) has signed contracts for renewable energy at its Escondida and Spence copper mines.
The largest mining companies in the world have a total market cap of over $600 billion and generate nearly $500 billion in revenues. These companies continue to grow despite being affected by the pandemic.
With this context and industry outlook in mind, let’s start our list of the 15 largest mining companies by market cap.
Largest Mining Companies by Market Cap
15. Hecla Mining Company (NYSE: HL)
Market Cap: $4.66 billion Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 16
Hecla Mining Company (NYSE: HL) was founded in 1891 with headquarters in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Hecla Mining Company (NYSE: HL) mines gold, silver, and other precious metals and produces a third of U.S. silver. It also holds the United States' largest reserve and resource. Hecla Mining has operating mines in Alaska, Idaho, and Quebec, and also owns a number of exploration properties in world-class silver and gold mining districts throughout North America. Hecla Mining Company (NYSE: HL)'s annual report shows that the company generated over $691 million in revenues in 2020, a significant increase from $673 million in 2019.
14. Royal Gold, Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD)
Market Cap: $8.26 billion Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 17
Royal Gold, Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD) is one of the leading precious metals stream and royalty companies. It was founded in 1981 as Royal Resources Corporation, an oil and gas exploration and production company. The company shifted its focus to gold when the oil prices collapsed in 1986. Today it is a royalty company and owns the interests of several of the world’s most successful mines. The company has over 187 properties, 81 of which are used for exploration and 41 for production. According to the official reports, Royal Gold, Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD) generated $498.8 million in revenues in 2020 and an operating cash flow of $340.8 million. The company has headquarters in Denver, Colorado, United States.
In its Q1 2021 investor letter, Argosy Investors highlighted a few stocks and Royal Gold Inc (NASDAQ:RGLD) is one of them. Here is what the fund said:
"Gold royalties business achieve 2 objectives for us: 1) It’s a good business model with strong returns through the gold price cycle; and 2) it provides some protection from inflation, should it materialize due to the increasingly loose fiscal and monetary policy decisions the United States (and other developed market economies) is making.
I don’t want to stay on my soapbox for too long, but this is the first time in history that I’m aware of politicians openly stating that debt levels don’t matter, even in the long term. In 2019, the government spent $4.4 trillion. Of those expenditures, $0.4 trillion was spent making interest payments on existing debt at the time of $16.9 trillion. The interest rate on that debt was 2.4%. Debt for 2021 is projected to increase to $22.5 trillion, and then to $33 trillion by the end of the decade.
I don’t have a crystal ball, but if interest rates increased to previously “normal” levels of only 5%, U.S. interest payments would be over $1.1 billion in 2021, 25% of U.S. total expenditures in 2019. In the event that happens, there are a few choices: 1) run a larger deficit which could lead to accelerating debt levels; 2) reduce government spending on things like the military, Medicare, Social Security, pensions, and other programs; or 3) the government allows or encourages inflation to reduce the value of its debt obligations.
To be clear, this spiraling debt outcome currently seems and likely is not happening within the next several years, but the probability of it occurring is not zero and things have changed rapidly before. For that reason, I think an investment in Royal Gold provides some minor insulation against inflation.”
13. The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS)
Market Cap: $13.2 billion Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 38
The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS) is one of the largest mining companies by market cap. It is based in Tampa, Florida, and mines phosphate and potash. It is also the largest producer of these two nutrients in the U.S. The company has potash mines or surface mills at various locations, including Colonsay, Carlsbad, Belle Plain, etc., and has a 25 million tonnes capacity of finished concentrated potash and phosphate. The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS) is serving customers in more than 40 countries. The Annual Reports of 2020 showed the company generated $8.7 billion in revenues as compared to $8.9 billion in 2019.
12. Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE: AEM)
Market Cap: $17.5 billion Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 28
Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM) was founded in 1953 and has headquarters in Toronto, Canada. It has been producing precious metals since 1957. The company has operations in Canada, Finland, and Mexico, and exploration activities extended to the United States. It is one of the largest mining companies by market cap. The flagship LaRonde mine, the deepest gold mine in North America, has produced over 6.3 million ounces of gold since 1988. This mine also deals with the exploration and mining of zinc, copper, and silver ores. As of 2017, the company has also paid a cash dividend every year since 1983. Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE: AEM) produced 1,782,147 ounces of gold and 4.3 million ounces of silver in 2019. Their annual reports showed 2020 as a very productive year for the company as it generated over $3.1 billion in revenues.
11. Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB)
Market Cap: $18.6 billion Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 31
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) is a specialty chemical company and is one of the largest mining companies by market cap. It has headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company is a leading global producer of Lithium, Bromine, and Catalyst solutions. According to the annual reports of 2020, lithium amounted to 36.6% of its revenues, whereas bromine contributed 30.8%. Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) is the largest provider of lithium for electric vehicle batteries. Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) has production plants in the United States, China, Belgium, France, Austria, etc. The company also produces a line of antioxidants and blends which improve the storage life and stability of fuel and other lubricant products. Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) has customers in approximately 100 countries.
10. Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (NYSE: WPM)
Market Cap: $21.2 billion Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 28
Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (NYSE: WPM) is one of the largest multinational precious metal streaming companies. The original name of the company was Wheaton Silver and has headquarters in Vancouver, Canada. It has agreements with high-quality 23 operating mines to purchase all of the precious metals or cobalt production. The company has sold over 29 million ounces of silver mined by other companies, including Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) and Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM). According to the Annual Financial Reports, 2020 proved out to be a productive year for Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (NYSE: WPM), with $1.09 billion in revenues, compared to $861 million in 2019. With a $21.2 billion market cap, it is one of the largest mining companies in the world.
WPM ranks 10th in the list of largest mining companies by market cap.
9. Franco-Nevada Corporation (NYSE: FNV)
Market Cap: $28.6 billion Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 20
Franco-Nevada Corporation (NYSE: FNV) is another Canada-based royalty company and is one of the largest mining companies by market cap. It owns royalties and streams in gold mining and other commodity and natural resource investment. The company does not operate mines or conduct exploration, but it manages and grows its portfolio of royalties and streams. Due to this approach, it has the largest and most diversified portfolio by commodity, geography, revenue type, and stage of the product. In 2020, Franco-Nevada Corporation (NYSE: FNV), generated $1.2 billion in revenues. The numbers are further growing, as the reports from the Q1 show that the company has increased its revenue by 28% to $309 million, compared to the same period last year.
8. Nutrien Ltd. (NYSE: NTR)
Market Cap: $34.3 billion Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 33
Nutrien Ltd. (NYSE: NTR) deals with fertilizers and is the largest producer of potash and third-largest producer of nitrogen fertilizer in the world. The company has distributed over 25 million tonnes of potash, nitrogen, and phosphate products for agricultural and industrial customers globally. Along with that, its leading agriculture retail network serves over 500,000 grower accounts. Nutrien Ltd. (NYSE: NTR) was founded in 2018 through a merger of two companies, PotashCorp and Agrium. The company has headquarters in Saskatoon, Canada, and has operations in 13 countries. Its revenue increased by 4% in 2020 and stands at $20.9 billion, compared to $20.08 billion in 2019.
NTR ranks 8th in the list of largest mining companies by market cap. In the said letter, First Eagle highlighted a few stocks and Nutrien Ltd. (NYSE:NTR) is one of them. Here is what First Eagle said:
"Potash prices have trended lower year-to-date, challenging Canadian fertilizer company Nutrien Ltd. (NYSE: NTR). Though sales volumes have held steady and the stock rebounded off its March lows, reduced prices for its primary earnings driver proved to be a headwind in the quarter. While there are some concerns about potash pricing moving forward as a competitor readies a large Canadian mine that is expected to provide a significant boost to potash capacity, we believe Nutrien’s cost structure will allow it to remain competitive in what we view as a stable business.”
7. Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD)
Market Cap: $43.9 billion Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 49
Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) is one of the largest companies by market cap with headquarters in Toronto, Canada. This mining company produces gold and copper with 16 operating sites in 13 countries, including Canada, Argentina, Chile, Mali, Saudi Arabia, etc. It has the deepest project pipelines in the gold industry with brownfield projects near existing operations. The company also has some of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in the world, providing significant optionality and leverage to gold prices. According to their annual reports, its net earnings were over $2.3 billion in 2020 and reported a 31% increase in revenue from copper mines due to high copper prices in Q1 2021. Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) aims to produce over 4.4 million oz of gold in 2021.
GOLD ranks 8th in the list of largest mining companies by market cap. GoodHaven Capital Management, in its Q4 2020 investor letter, mentioned Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD). Here is what the fund said:
"Barrick’s recent results have been consistent with our expectations. Barrick has begun inching up the dividend as planned, which should continue increasing absent them finding a large acquisition (they want more copper assets) or a materially lower price of gold. We’d also expect periodic special dividends during stronger gold price environments. At current gold prices we estimate normalized free cash flow at Barrick of over $1.60/share. The company is now about net-debt free. We see plenty of upside and absent a collapse in gold not too much downside. Missing from much of the public discussions about gold, but potentially interesting, is the supply/demand backdrop. As the Wall Street Journal (8/16/20) recently said “gold is amongst the rarest metals in the earth’s crust and much of the easier to get to ore has already been mined. What is left is harder to find and more expensive to extract…” According to the World Platinum Council, it was forecasted that there will be a supply and demand imbalance of 1.2 million ounces globally. The potential macro tailwinds that could add value to an alternate currency like gold including currency concerns, excessive debt and continuing negative real interest rates are still out there. While the shares performed well for the year they were weak in the second half and now stand more attractively priced.”
6. Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM)
Market Cap: $58.9 billion Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 43
Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM) was founded in 1921 and is one of the largest mining companies by market cap. The company has gold mines in Nevada, Mexico, Quebec, Colorado, Ghana, Peru, Australia, and Argentina. It is the world’s largest gold mining company and also mines zinc, silver, copper, and lead. Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM) was ranked top miner in Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, DJSI, in 2020 and represented the top 10% of the world’s largest 2,500 companies.
The annual report of the company shows a revenue of $11.5 billion in 2020. The future plans at Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM) also include climate change as the company has invested over $500 million for the matter and aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30% by 2030.
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Disclosure: None. 15 Largest Mining Companies by Market Cap is originally published on Insider Monkey.