The top ten metals and mining companies by revenue in 2018

Vasanthi Vara 18 March 2019 (Last Updated January 27th, 2020 13:03)

Mining companies based in Asia and Europe emerged as the world’s biggest revenue generating companies in 2018. Companies dealing with copper, iron ore, and coal led the list. Mining-technology lists the top ten metals and mining companies by revenue in 2018.

The top ten metals and mining companies by revenue in 2018
Glencore Plc emerged as the world’s biggest metals and mining company in 2018 based on revenues. Image courtesy of Glencore.

Mining companies based in Asia and Europe emerged as the world’s biggest revenue generating companies in 2018. Companies dealing with copper, iron ore, and coal led the list. Mining-technology lists the top ten metals and mining companies by revenue in 2018.

Top ten metals and mining companies by revenue in 2018: Ranking the ten biggest companies

10. Freeport-McMoRan Inc

9. Tata Steel Ltd

8. Aluminum Corporation of China Limited

7. Anglo American Plc

6. Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd

5. Vale SA

4. BHP

3. Rio Tinto

2. ArcelorMittal

1. Glencore Plc

10. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. – $18.62bn

Top ten metals and mining companies
The Cerro Verde mine is one of the biggest mining projects of Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Image courtesy of A.Davey.

Copper operations contributed three-fourths of Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s revenues in 2018, at $13.99bn, followed by gold ($3.23bn) and molybdenum ($1.19bn).

Geographically, the US region contributed to the majority of the company’s revenues at $5.79bn, followed by Switzerland ($2.94bn) and Indonesia ($2.22bn).

Freeport-McMoRan is a US-based mining company involved in the exploration and production of copper, gold and molybdenum. Some of its major operations are located in the Morenci mineral district in North America, the Cerro Verde in South America, and the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia.

9. Tata Steel Ltd – $22.64bn

Top ten metals and mining companies
Tata Steel Ltd, a part of the Tata Group based in India, emerged as one of the world’s biggest metals and mining companies based on 2018 revenues. Image courtesy of Tata Steel.

Tata Steel, a part of the India-based conglomerate company Tata Group, has its business broadly organised under Tata Steel India, Bamnipal Steel, Tata Steel Europe, South East Asian operations, and others.

Tata Steel India emerged as the highest revenue generator for the company during 2018, followed by Tata Steel Europe.

In June 2018, Tata Steel signed an agreement with thyssenKrupp AG to combine their European operations into a new joint venture company. Tata Steel also signed agreements with HBIS Group to divest its stake in NatSteel Holdings and Tata Steel (Thailand) to a new company, in which HBIS will hold 70% and the remaining 30% will be held by Tata Steel.

8. Aluminum Corporation of China Limited – $24.08bn

Top ten metals and mining companies
Aluminum Corporation of China Limited primarily deals with the production and trading of alumina. Image courtesy of Rick Kimpel.

Aluminum Corporation of China Limited’s 2018 revenues decreased marginally to approximately $24.08bn due to a decline in trading revenues. The China-based mining company’s controlling shareholder is Aluminum Corporation of China.

Also known as Chalco, the company has four main business divisions namely Alumina, Primary Alumina, Trading, and Energy.

The trading segment continued to contribute the highest revenues despite a year-on-year decline. The revenues of the alumina and primary alumina segments, however, increased compared to the previous year.

7. Anglo American Plc – $27.61bn

Top ten metals and mining companies
The De Beers Group was the second highest revenue generator for Anglo American Plc in 2018. Image courtesy of De Beers UK Limited.

UK-based mining company Anglo American reported a year-on-year revenue growth of 5% to $27.61bn in 2018. The company’s operations are organised around the minerals it produces, including De Beers diamonds, copper, platinum group minerals (PGM), iron ore, coal, nickel and manganese, and others.

The coal division posted the highest revenues of $7.78bn during the year, followed by De Beers ($6.1bn), driven by strong consumer demand for diamond jewellery, and PGM ($5.68bn).

Geographically, China contributed the majority of the revenues at $6.93bn, followed by Asia (excluding Japan and India, $5.81bn) and certain European countries with $3.92bn.

6. Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd – $31.5bn

Top ten metals and mining companies
Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd’s Guixi Smelter is the biggest copper smelter in China. Image courtesy of Jiangxi Copper Corporation.

Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd earned approximately $31.5bn in revenues in 2018, a year-on-year increase of more than 6%, which was attributed to increased unit prices of cathode copper and copper rods.

Jiangxi Copper is a China-based mining company focused on the production of copper, gold, silver, lead and other minerals.

The company’s operations include six production mines, the Guixi Smelter, which is the largest copper smelter in China, seven copper processing plants, and two sulfuric acid plants.

5. Vale SA – $35.93bn

Top ten metals and mining companies
Vale SA’s ferrous minerals segment generated 75% of the company revenues in 2018.

Brazil-based mining company Vale SA reported revenues of $35.93bn in 2018. The company’s operations are divided into five main segments, including ferrous minerals, coal, base metals, and fertilisers.

The ferrous minerals segment includes iron ore, iron ore pellets, manganese, ferroalloys, and other ferrous products. The division generated 75% of the revenues, at $26.98bn. The base metals division contributed the second highest revenues of $7.1bn.Vale divested its fertilisers business Vale Fertilizantes to Mosaic in January 2018 for $2.5bn. The divestment also includes the purchase of a strategic stake in Mosaic and was intended to reduce the company’s debt.

4. BHP – $37.57bn

Top ten metals and mining companies
Higher production volumes at BHP’s Escondida and Western Iron Ore projects helped in increasing the company’s revenues by more than 20%. Image courtesy of BHP.

BHP (formerly BHP Billiton) posted revenues of $43.34bn in 2018, a year-on-year increase of more than 20%, assisted by higher production volumes at its Escondida and Western Iron Ore projects.

Iron ore operations contributed to the majority of the company’s revenues at $10.65bn, followed by copper ($6.1bn) and coal ($4.97bn).

BHP is an Australian natural resources company with operations across the world. The company’s business includes exploration and production of petroleum, copper, iron ore, and coal.

3. Rio Tinto – $40.52bn

Top ten metals and mining companies
Rio Tinto’s iron ore operations contributed towards the majority of the company’s revenues. Copyright © 2018 Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto’s 2018 revenues increased marginally to $40.52bn compared to the previous financial year. The company’s operations are segregated based on product groups including iron ore, aluminium, copper and diamonds, and energy and minerals.

The iron ore business comprising 16 mines in Australia, including the major projects Koodaideri, Robe Valley and West Angelas, posted revenues of $18.48bn. The aluminium business, which includes five mines, four refineries and 14 smelters, earned $12.19bn in revenues.

Rio Tinto is an Australia-based mining company with operations in 35 countries across six continents.

2. ArcelorMittal – $76.03bn

Top ten metals and mining companies
ArcelorMittal is developing a new headquarters building in Luxembourg. Image courtesy of ArcelorMittal Europe Communications.

Luxembourg-based steel and mining company ArcelorMittal earned $76.03bn in revenues in 2018, representing a 10.7% increase compared to the previous year. The company has five segments namely NAFTA, Brazil, Europe, ACIS, and Mining.

The European segment was the highest revenue generator for the company at $40.48bn, followed by the NAFTA segment with $20.33bn.

ArcelorMittal made two acquisitions in 2018, including Italian steel company Ilva S.p.A and Brazilian steel company Votorantim Siderurgia to strengthen its steel business.

1. Glencore Plc – $219.75bn

Top ten metals and mining companies
Glencore Plc emerged as the world’s biggest metals and mining company in 2018 based on revenues. Image courtesy of Glencore.

Glencore’s revenues in 2018 grew by more than 6% year-on-year to $219.75bn. The energy products segment contributed the highest revenues of $139bn, followed by the metals and minerals segment, which earned $83bn.

Glencore made a number of asset acquisitions during 2018, including a 49% interest in the Hunter Valley Operations and an 82% interest in the Hail Creek coking/thermal coal mine, with the aim of strengthening its operations. It also announced the acquisition of Chevron South Africa (to be renamed Astron Energy post the acquisition), which is pending competition clearance from the South African Government.

Glencore is a Switzerland-based diversified natural resources company. Its core business segments include metals and minerals, energy products and agricultural products.