Numerous industries worldwide depend on the supply of commodities from underground such as minerals and metals. The dependency of various high-tech-industries on rare earths is a recent issue – coal, on the other hand, is still one of the leading global energy resources. Consequently, the mining sector is pivotal to the world’s economy. The global top 40 companies, which represent a vast majority of the whole industry, reported some 496 billion U.S. dollars of revenue in 2016. The net profit margin of this industry decreased from 25 percent in 2010 to four percent in 2016.
The industry’s leading companies based on market value are Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, followed by China Shenhua Energy. As of June 2017, BHP Billiton had a market value of 87.68 billion U.S. dollars. Measured by revenue, the top company active in mining worldwide is Anglo-Swiss Glencore, generating some 153 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. However, it has to be taken into consideration that a large share of Glencore’s revenues come from commodity trading. Interestingly, Newmont Mining is the only U.S. mining company among the global leaders.
In the United States, mining has always played an important role. Its relevance increases all the more whenever mining includes the extraction of oil and gas, and support activities for mining, as some sources do. The total U.S. mining gross output in 2015 amounted to 449 billion U.S. dollars, a notable decrease from the gross output in the previous year. In the same year, the whole sector employed around 748 thousand people.
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