Mining, Metals & Minerals

Mining is one of the world's oldest industries. It mainly includes the exploration, production, and processing of metals and minerals located in the Earth’s crust. Metals and minerals are essential for many other industries.

The coronavirus pandemic hit the world's mining industry hard, with intermittent mine closures and supply chain disruptions. As mining supports manufacturing, mining was deemed an essential service in many countries. Outbreaks of the virus at mining sites and in the communities nearby made headlines in several countries. The unique circumstances caused by the pandemic also proved how resilient many mining companies are in the face of such serious challenges.

Combined revenue of the leading global mining companies
692 bn USD
Region with the largest mining exploration spending
Latin America
Mineral commodity with highest rate of return in 2020

Market size

Mining industry revenue has remained relatively stable over the past decade
Revenue of the leading mining companies worldwide from 2005 to 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars)*
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As of 2019, the most recent data available, the combined revenue of the top 40 global mining companies amounted to 692 billion U.S. dollars. That was a notable rise from the revenue in 2009, which was less than half that amount, but not far from the decade’s highest revenue at 731 billion U.S. dollars in 2012. The industry’s actual revenue figure for 2020 remains to be seen, but a projected figure suggests that it may be near 650 million U.S. dollars.

Mining industry worldwide
Latin America's mining industry
Gold mining worldwide

Market segments

Iron ore and potash are among the largest produced mineral commodities based on volume
Production volume of selected leading mineral commodities worldwide in 2020 (in 1,000 metric tons)
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The most exploited commodities worldwide based on production volume are coal, iron ore, bauxite, and potash. While comparing the production and consumption volume of one mineral to another does not necessarily make sense due to vastly differing end-use contexts, it is nevertheless an interesting comparison to make. In terms of revenue, iron ore and copper are the most profitable segments of many of the world's leading diversified mining companies.

Iron ore mining industry worldwide
Coal mining industry worldwide
Copper mining industry worldwide

Industry trends

'Smart mining' is a great opportunity and challenge
Projected adoption rate of selected technologies in the mining industry worldwide in 2025
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The future is here, and the adoption of technology and automation in the global mining industry for enhanced safety, productivity, and cost reduction is slowly but surely occurring. With the market value of smart mining expected to exceed 20 billion U.S. dollars worldwide by 2025, the industry is evidently moving towards these new processes. Further, from 2018 to 2020, industry concerns about cyber threats against these technological measures have waned.

Market value of smart mining
Concern about cyber attacks on mining companies

Industry leaders

Established multinational miners lead the global mining industry
2021 ranking of the leading mining companies worldwide based on revenue (in billion U.S. dollars)
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Several well-established multinational mining companies consistently lead the global mining industry based on annual revenue. The Swiss-headquartered Glencore is the world's largest mining company of all, with annual revenue amounting to 215 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. In 2020, the company's revenue decreased considerably, to 142 billion U.S. dollars, which highlights the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mining activity and mineral commodity prices.

Rio Tinto

Industry Definition

The mining, metals, and minerals category provides information about the mining industry, and by extension, about mineral and metal commodities. Statista's coverage of these topics spans from the exploration, reserves, and production of minerals and metals, to the consumption and end-uses of these products. Trade data, prices, major producing regions, and mining companies are also covered.


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