Six Canadian mining companies among globe's Top 40

14 August 2019 3 min. read
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Canada, with its geographical vastness and resource riches, is one of the foremost countries in the global mining industry. Barrick Gold is Canada’s largest mining firm, coming in at number 11 in PwC’s 2019 ranking of the Top 40 global mining companies by market capitalization. Other Canadian entries in the Top 40 were Teck Resources, Agnico-Eagle Mines Group, Goldcorp, First Quantum Minerals, and Kirkland Lake Gold.

Analysis by accounting and consulting firm PwC on the globe’s mining industry shows that the sector is thriving – at least financially. Growing demand for resources, which often serve as key raw materials for industrial processes and consumer products, coupled with rising commodity prices, has lifted the combined revenues of the globe’s top 40 mining companies to US$683 billion last year, up from US$539 billion in 2015. Bottom-line results have also improved markedly in the period, with profitability (measured in EBITDA) jumping from US$91 billion to US$165 billion. Cash reserves at the world’s 40 largest mining firms, meanwhile, grew from US$82 billion to just over the US$100 billion mark.

Canada is a key player in the global mining industry, and is the largest producer of potash in the world, the second-largest uranium producer, and the third-largest producer of aluminum, nickel, platinum, and cobalt, according to Statista. The minerals and metals industry provided 596,000 jobs in Canada as of 2016, and directly or indirectly contributed $87 billion (3%) of Canada’s GDP, according to stats from Natural Resources Canada.

Canada’s mines attract substantial foreign investment, with more mineral investment dollars coming to Canada than any other country (1,525 companies budgeting $7.9 billion). In 2017, Canada attracted 14% of the exploration budgets of firms, just ahead of Australia at 13%.

Six Canadian mining companies among globe's Top 40

The country, however, has many of its own domestic heavy hitters in mining. Barrick Gold was the top Canadian company on the PwC Top 40 mining company ranking (by market capitalization), jumping three spots from 2018 to reach number 11. The gold-focused company was buoyed by its $6.5 billion merger with Randgold Resources. Barrick Gold has annual revenues of $12.6 billion, and over 21,000 employees.

Next up was Teck Resources, jumping two spots to reach number 14. The diversified mining company has $10.5 billion in annual revenues and 10,000 employees.

Agnico-Eagle Mines Group also jumped two places to reach number 24 in the ranking. The gold miner has $2.2 billion in revenues and more than 5,000 employees.

Goldcorp, meanwhile, fell from #25 in 2018 to #27 in 2019. The gold miner has $3.1 billion in annual revenues, and nearly 10,000 employees.

Copper-focused First Quantum Minerals also fell two spots, from #30 to #32. The company has $3.9 billion in annual revenues and 16,950 employees.

Rounding out the Canadian firms in the Top 40 was Kirkland Lake Gold, entering the ranking for the first time at #33. The mining company has $802 million in annual revenues and 2,000 employees.

Canadian firms that exited the ranking were Randgold (which merged with Barrick) and PotashCorp, which was bought by Saskatoon-based fertilizer giant Nutrien (mining is a small part of the company’s business).

The two top-ranked firms were Anglo-Australian multinationals BHP Group and Rio Tinto, at first and second, respectively. Brazil-based Vale (which bought Canadian nickel giant Inco in 2006) came in third, while Switzerland’s Glencore and coal miner China Shenhua Energy Company rounded out the top five. The top five companies collectively made up 50% of the total Top 40 market capitalization.

Geographically vast countries with ample resource deposits were, unsurprisingly, well-represented in the company rankings, with China boasting ten companies, Canada six, Australia five, Russia three, and two apiece for the US, Mexico, and South Africa. The UK, perhaps owing to its first-mover advantage in industrial mining, its colonial legacy, and its status as a global financial centre, was represented in six firms.