JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) - The 25 top global mining companies were worth an aggregate $818.2-billion at the end of January, a 15.5% increase compared with their value in the corresponding month in 2017, when the same companies held a value of $708.5-billion, research firm S&P's Global Market Intelligence said on Monday.
A similar group of companies that held the top 25 positions at this time a year ago was worth an aggregate $680.83-billion.
The firm further found that out of the 25 top miners, 21 recorded gains in valuation during January.
The ranking of the top five companies remained unchanged compared with year-end 2017, and BHP Billiton Group remained the world's most valuable mining company, with its market value having increased by more than 6.8% year-on-year to $124.9-billion.
A year ago, China Molybdenum and Shaanxi Coal Industry were both ranked outside the top 25 mining companies, at thirty-sixth and forty-third place, respectively. However, they have now entered into the top 25 companies with the help of triple-digit percentage improvements in market valuation year-on-year.
Shaanxi Coal achieved the second biggest improvement in market capitalisation (cap), jumping 106.3% to $15.9-billion and advancing to twentieth place. The company said on January 19 that it expected net attributable profit for 2017 to have jumped by between 263% and 285% to reach between 7.25-billion Chinese yuan and 7.85-billion yuan.
The two companies also rose sharply month-on-month. Shaanxi Coal was up 26.8% and China Molybdenum was up 13.9% compared with end-December. Zijin Mining Group at 17.8%, Anglo American at 15.1%, Coal India at 14% and South32 at 12.6%, were the other companies with significant increases in market cap since the end of 2017.
London-listed Anglo American and PJSC Norilsk Nickel swapped positions at number six and seven, as the latter's market value only grew 9.7% compared with Anglo's 15.1% improvement.
Norilsk Nickel reported that it had completed a reconfiguration programme at the Talnakh concentrator and this increased ore processing, boosting the company's fourth-quarter 2017 metals output across the board.
Chile-based lithium producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile experienced a decline in its market cap to $14.8-billion and, as a result, recorded the steepest drop in the rankings, slipping four places since end-December to twenty-first place. Barrick Gold, Franco-Nevada and Fresnillo, with respective market caps of $16.7-billion, $14.1-billion and $13.9-billion, were the other companies that suffered declines in market valuation.