Interest in Australia as an investment hub is on the rise, and one area investors are looking toward is Australian stocks in the mining sector.
The country is viewed as a mining-friendly location, with many incentives and initiatives geared at helping companies move forward. But what are the top Australian stocks in the mining space? Below we run through the largest ASX-listed miners by market cap to give investors an idea of the landscape.
Data for this article was gathered via TradingView and was accurate at the time of publication. If we missed any Australian stocks you think should be on this list, please let us know in the comments.
1. BHP (ASX:BHP,LSE:BHP,NYSE:BHP)
Market cap: AU$215.51 billion; current share price: AU$45.61
Mining behemoth BHP is the largest Australian stock in the mining sector by market cap. The company operates primarily in Australia and the Americas, with more than 60,000 employees globally. It extracts minerals, as well as oil and gas.
Formed through the merger of BHP and Billiton, both founded in the 1800s, the company has become a powerhouse. Its key assets include the Australia-based Olympic Dam mine, one of the world’s largest orebodies and a major copper producer, and a 57.5 percent stake in the Escondida copper mine in Chile.
2. Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO)
Market cap: AU$179.42 billion; current share price: AU$120.05
Rio Tinto is another major diversified miner, and it’s no surprise to see that the company is a top Australian stock in the mining space. Its workforce stands at 47,000 people across 35 countries and six continents, and like BHP it is strongly represented in Australia and the Americas. Rio Tinto also has operations in Asia, Europe and Africa.
Also like BHP, Rio Tinto has a history that stretches back nearly 150 years. Currently it is focused on four product groups: aluminium, copper and diamonds, energy and minerals and iron ore. It is the biggest producer of natural colored diamonds, and has the largest integrated portfolio of iron ore assets.
3. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM)
Market cap: AU$21.18 billion; current share price: AU$26.05
Newcrest Mining is among the largest gold companies in the world in addition to being one of the top Australian stocks in the mining space by market cap. Its mines are located in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, and its assets include the Cadia Valley operation in New South Wales. The site is one of the largest gold-mining operations in Australia.
The company says that its gold reserves represent more than 25 years of production at current rates, and it prides itself on having predominantly low-cost, long-life mines and a strong pipeline of brownfield and greenfield exploration projects.
4. Kirkland Lake Gold (ASX:KLA,TSX:KL,NYSE:KL)
Market cap: AU$13.81 billion; current share price: AU$51.79
Senior gold producer Kirkland Lake Gold has operations in Canada and Australia, including the Macassa mine and Detour Lake mine, both located in Northern Ontario, Canada, and the Fosterville mine situated in the state of Victoria, Australia.
Kirkland Lake’s gold production totaled 1,369,652 ounces in 2020, in line with its production guidance for the year. The company is targeting 1,300,000 ounces to 1,400,000 ounces of production in 2021.
5. South32 (ASX:S32,LSE:S32)
Market cap: AU$13.01 billion; current share price: AU$2.80
Formed in 2015 through a spinout from BHP, South32 is now a mining force in its own right. The company has operations in Australia, Southern Africa and South America, and produces bauxite, alumina, aluminium, energy, manganese, nickel, silver, lead and zinc.
In 2018, the company began amping up its focus on zinc through a C$1.8 billion deal to bring its ownership of Arizona Mining up to 100 percent, including the Hermosa zinc-lead-silver project. South32 began divesting its coal assets in 2021 with the closure of South Africa Energy Coal.
Would you invest in any of these Australian stocks? Tell us in the comments.
This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2018.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.