World’s top 50 miners shed $83 billion in Q2 as recession fears envelop

The world’s biggest mining companies suffered huge losses to their valuations in a brutal second quarter characterised by slumping metals prices and uncertainty with regards to the global economy.

According to MINING.COM’s latest ranking of the top 50 listed mining companies, their combined value fell by US$883 billion in Q2 2022 to $1.37 trillion. By comparison, this is down from a peak of $1.75 trillion at the end of March this year.

This extreme volatility has largely come about from concerns of a global recession, with inflation running high in major economies and growth in China seemingly slowing down. Fears of a recession have resulted in broad sells offs across the commodities space, with copper, nickel, aluminium, zinc and tin stomaching heavy losses. Gold has also dropped to nine month lows despite initially offering safe haven status for investors at the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

Lithium – one of the few commodities that has been largely immune from the shock – has remained not far off record prices during the quarter, while coal and coal producing miners have experienced a resurgence linked to increasing demand as the world faces growing energy shortages.

The top 10 firms compiled on MINING.COM’s list lost a combined $600 million, with BHP one of the worst performers following a 26.5% hit to its share price, although it was able to hang on to number one spot.

Pureplay copper producers were among the hardest hit, with the likes of Freeport-McMo-Ran down 39.9% in the quarter and Southern Copper losing 32.2% of its value.