LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s biggest diversified miners have yet to see their share prices reflect their role as providers of the minerals needed for a shift to a low-carbon economy.
Mining companies provide minerals such as cobalt used in electric vehicle batteries and copper for increased electrification, and the sector’s balance sheets are in rude health.
Still, many investors are wary. Concerns include the demand outlook from China, the world’s biggest consumer of metals; the sector’s history of wasting shareholders’ money on mergers and acquisitions that never deliver returns; and a patchy record on environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) issues.
Reminders of the dangers include a disaster in Brazil at a Vale tailings dam in January that killed an estimated 300 people, and a U.S. corruption investigation into Glencore, announced in April.
Refinitiv data shows the Big Four diversified miners – Rio Tinto, BHP, Anglo American and Glencore – trading at a lower forward 12-months price-to-earnings multiple than Britain’s FTSE 100.