The Covid-19 pandemic flung the world into uncertainty, affecting economies and industry. Mining companies were not left unscathed and many experienced significant disruptions. But, even in these challenging times, the following ten mining companies have managed to come out on top. Some of the mining giants in this list have stayed operational, others have even kept revenues up, and are working on green initiatives.
BHP is an international mining company engaged in exploring and producing oil, gas, copper, coal, and iron ore. BHP has seen a 3% year-on-year increase in revenues, mostly due to iron ore mining operations in Western Australia, and has continued to meet its construction milestones at its mines across the world. As part of its shift toward more environmentally-friendly operations, BHP has announced the possibility that it would move away from thermal coal assets and focus on metallurgical coal interests instead.
Rio Tinto owns a network of mines throughout Western Australia and has several investments in South Africa and the United States. The company reported no disruptions due to Covid-19 in the first half of 2020 and drastically reduced its capital expenditure. Serious about sustainability, Rio Tinto has sold all of its coal interests.
Glencore has an operational presence in 35 countries across the globe and operates over 180 mining sites. The company has suffered several delays and seen a nominal decline in revenue due to the pandemic. However, it has also made a reduction of between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in capital expenditure. With a strong focus on commodities that help decarbonize the energy supply, such as nickel and cobalt, Glencore is working towards a greener earth.
ArcelorMittal operates steel manufacturing facilities in 18 countries and supplies products to 160 nations across the world. This mining giant’s revenues dropped because of the decrease in the selling price of steel. Yet, it achieved an increase in production, and its steel shipments also saw an upward trend. ArcelorMittal’s eco-friendly initiatives include a group-wide commitment to emit zero carbon emissions by 2050. This includes making carbon-neutral steel a reality.
Anglo American has operations throughout Europe, Australia, Southern Africa, and North and South America. The company recently ramped up its iron ore operation in Brazil, which contributed to a substantial revenue increase. Development of the Quellaveco copper mine is on track; it is expected to produce as much as 300,000 tpa of copper for the first decade.
One of the world’s largest gold mining companies, Barrick Gold, operates in over a dozen countries. In recent years this company has prioritized strengthening its position by selling non-core mines to repay debt. This resulted in a cash-rich balance sheet and a strong position to become one of the world’s most valuable gold mining companies.
The world’s most significant iron ore and nickel producer, Vale SA, operates in around 30 countries. Despite the pandemic challenges and the failure of a tailings dam at a mine in Minas Gerais, Vale SA still reported an increase in revenues.
POSCO is one of the biggest steel manufacturers in the world. The company operates in 53 countries. Revenues slightly declined, but its subsidiary company POSCO International achieved significant operating profits through Myanmar gas fields.
Ore production at Jiangxi Copper was affected by the pandemic, extreme weather conditions, the US/China trade war, and strikes. Despite this, the company reached its copper smelting peak capacity, and revenues increased. Major projects were completed, such as an underground expansion and the acquisition of a tungsten mine in Kazakhstan.
Aluminum Corporation of China is a leading aluminum producer and is also engaged in exploring and mining coal and bauxite. The company has been responsible for contributing around 20% of the total GDP in China. The company has continued to operate and is actively responding to the pandemic, despite a steady decline in aluminum demand.