The market capitalization of the world's 25 largest mining companies at the end of February had an aggregate value of US$711.37 billion, a 3.6% increase from the end-January total of US$687.01 billion. Only seven companies saw month-over-month decreases in February.
China Molybdenum Co. Ltd. logged the largest month-over-month increase in market capitalization, jumping 23.4% to US$14.45 billion and rising seven spots to 14th place. Year on year, the company recorded a decline of 46.8%, the largest among the group. In January, the company outlined expectations for a 65.7% to 78.9% increase in full-year 2018 earnings attributable to equity holders. The increase was attributed to higher metal prices and lower interest expenses.
Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. saw a 19.3% increase in market cap to US$13.53 billion from the end-January figure, pushing the company up four spots to 18th place. The metal producer, through its subsidiary Gold Mountains (Bermuda) Investment Ltd., is working on the acquisition of the remaining 39.5% interest in Bermuda-based Nkwe Platinum Ltd. it does not already own. Regulatory approvals for the acquisition have been received and the deal is expected to be in effect by the end of March.
U.K.-based Evraz PLC recorded the third largest monthly increase in market cap, with an uptick of 14.7% to US$10.83 billion. This movement pushed Evraz five places up to the 25th spot, successfully entering the chart from 30th place in the previous month.
Among the seven companies that experienced month-over-month declines in market cap, Canada-based Teck Resources Ltd. recorded the largest decline of 8.5%. This brought the company's market cap down to US$12.71 billion, pushing its ranking down to 21st place. Teck posted a 41.5% year-over-year decrease in net profit for the fourth quarter of 2018, to C$433.0 million.
Despite seeing a 5.8% decline month over month to US$22.09 billion, Barrick Gold Corp. maintained its position as the eighth largest company in terms of market cap. In mid-February, analysts at Bernstein Research recommended the gold producer and gold stocks in general as an ideal addition to equity portfolios, citing increases in geopolitical risks and decreases in supply growth for the commodity as factors in the recommendation.
Newcrest Mining Ltd. also saw a decline in market cap since January, down 2.9% to US$13.26 billion and falling three ranks to the 19th spot. The Australian gold producer recently acquired 70% of the Red Chris copper-gold mine in western Canada from Imperial Metals Corp., increasing its exposure in the Americas, where most of its shareholders are based.
Dropping off the list is PJSC Alrosa, which placed 26th in the end-February ranking after a 4.0% month-over-month decrease in market cap to US$10.41 billion.
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