Mining giants – the top ten richest mining companies (Mining-Technology.com – March 27, 2014)

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Glencore Xtrata, followed by BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Vale recorded the biggest revenue from mining operations in 2013. Mining-technology.com profiles the world’s ten biggest mining companies based on revenue earned in calendar year 2013.

Glencore Xtrata

Glencore Xstrata, created through the merger of the world’s biggest commodities trader Glencore and the diversified mining company Xtrata in May 2013, is the world’s biggest mining company. The mining and trading conglomerate headquartered in Switzerland reported revenues exceeding $200bn from industrial and marketing activities in its metals and minerals, and coal and oil segments in 2013.

The company’s mining operations encompass over 150 mining and metallurgical sites around the world. Revenue from the metals and minerals business including copper, nickel, zinc/lead, alloys, alumina/aluminium and iron ore was over $64bn in 2013. Glencore Xstrata also produced 138.1 million tonnes of coal in 2013 recording industrial revenues exceeding $10bn.

The Zanaga iron ore mine in Republic of Congo, the Collahuasi copper mine in Chile, the Antamina copper-zinc mine in Peru, and the Correjon coal mine in Colombia are among the major mining operations in which Glencore Xtrata holds significant interests.

BHP Billiton

Australian miner BHP Billiton earned $67.83bn revenues in the year ending in December 2013 making it the world’s second biggest mining company. The major mining commodities produced by the company include aluminium, coal, copper, iron ore, manganese, nickel, silver and uranium.

The company’s Iron ore operations, the third biggest in the world, comprising the Western Australia Iron Ore operations in the Pilbara region of Australia and the Samarco iron ore operation in Brazil, account for about one third of its revenue. Samarco Alegria is the world’s second biggest iron ore mine.

Copper is the second biggest revenue source for the company. BHP Billiton operates the world’s biggest copper mine Escondida in Chile. It also owns three of the world’s ten biggest coal mines – the Peak Downs coal mine in central Queensland, Australia, Mt Arthur coal mine in the Hunter, Valley region of New South Wales, Australia, and the Cerrejon coal mine in Colombia. Olympic Dam in Australia, a major poly-metallic mine and the second biggest uranium producing mine in the world, is also owned and operated by BHP Billiton.

Rio Tinto

The British-Australian multinational mining company Rio Tinto headquartered in London earned gross sales revenue of $54.6bn in the year ending in December 2013 becoming the world’s third biggest miner.

Rio Tinto is the second biggest iron ore producer in the world. Iron ore accounted for over $25bn of the company’s revenue in 2013. The revenue from aluminium and copper stood at $12.4bn and $5.9bn respectively. The company’s coal mining operations in Australia and Mozambique together accounted for $4.5bn in revenue. The diamond and minerals business contributed $4.1bn of revenue.

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