May 17, 2020

Top mining companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange

Barrick Gold Corporation
Teck Resources Limited
Goldcorp I
Barrick Gold Corporation
Dale Benton
5 min
If you are looking to invest in a mining company, the Toronto Stock Exchange(TSX) might be the best place to start.
Stock exchanges other than New Yorks present alternative opportunities for people seeking to invest.The World Federation of Exchanges ranks the TSX as t...

Stock exchanges other than New York’s present alternative opportunities for people seeking to invest.The World Federation of Exchanges ranks the TSX as the eighth largest in the world based on its total market capitalization of $2.2 trillion in 2014.

The number of companies on the TSX has varied over the years. There were more than 1,500 in 2014. In 2016, the two exchanges owned by the TMX Group, the TSX and the TSX Venture Exchange, listed 1,294 companies.

Out of these companies on the two exchanges, 241 are mining companies. According to a TMX report on mining, 53 percent of the financing of the world’s mining companies was done on the two exchanges in 2015.

Standard & Poor’s keeps track of 60 large companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange via its S&P/TSX 60 Index. There are 12 mining companies on this index. In rough order of annual revenues, they are:

1. Barrick Gold Corporation

The Toronto-based company made just over $9 billion in revenues in 2015, according to its annual report. It’s the largest gold mining company in the world, with operations on five continents. The annual report lists four mining sites based in the United States: the Goldstrike mine, the Cortez mine and the Turquoise Ridge JV mine, all in Nevada; and the Golden Sunlight mine in Montana. Barrick also has mines in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Tanzania, Zambia, Saudi Arabia, and Papua New Guinea. Barrick’s leaders include Executive Chairman John L. Thornton and President Kelvin Dushnisky.

2. Teck Resources Limited

Based in Vancouver, Teck Resources made $8.3 billion in revenue in 2015, according to its annual report. It has operations in the United States, Canada, Chile, and Peru. Its mines include: the Antamina copper and zinc mine in Peru; the Carmen de Andacollo copper and gold mine and the Quebrada Blanca copper mines both in Chile; the Frontier oil sands mine in Alberta; the Red Dog zinc mine in Alaska; the Pend Oreille zinc and lead mine in Washington state; and several steelmaking coal mines in British Columbia. The company’s leaders include Chairman of the Board Norman Keevil and President and CEO Donald Lindsay.

3. Goldcorp Inc.

Another Vancouver-based company, Goldcorp made more than $5.1 billion in revenues in 2015, according to its “Financial Highlights” report. The company has mines and projects in Canada, the United States, and Latin America, according to its website. The company projects it will produce hundreds of thousands of ounces of gold from its Canadian gold mines in Eleonore, Porcupine, and Red Lake. It had record production from its gold mine in Penasquito, Mexico in 2015 as well as mines in the Dominican Republic, Argentina, and Guatemala. The company’s leaders include President and CEO David Garofalo and Executive Vice President Russell Ball.

4. Kinross Gold Corporation

Headquartered in Toronto, Kinross earned about $3.05 billion in revenues in 2015, according to its 2015 Annual Report. The company has 10 mines in the Americas, West Africa, and Russia, according to its Operations report. Its American mines include the Fort Knox Gold Mine in Alaska, the Buckhorn Gold Mine in the state of Washington, and the Round Mountain Gold Mine in Nevada. Its Paracatu mine is the largest gold mine in Brazil and one of the largest in the world. The corporate leaders of Kinross include President and CEO J. Paul Rollinson and Executive Vice President Tony Giardini.

5. Cameco Corporation

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Cameco was the world’s second largest producer of uranium in 2014, according to this World Nuclear Association report. Its McArthur River mine in Canada was the world’s largest uranium-producing mine in the world. Two of its other mines, the Inkai mine in Kazakhstan and the Rabbit Lake mine in Canada, are also among the world’s largest producers. Cameco earned roughly $2.75 billion in revenues in 2015, according to the company’s 2015 Annual Report. Its corporate leaders include Chair of the Board Neil McMillan and CEO Tim Gitzel.

6. First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

The third Vancouver-based company on this list, First Quantum Minerals earned just under $2.7 billion in revenue in 2015, according to this press release about its 2015 performance. The company boasted that it produced a large amount of copper from its Sentinel mine in Zambia, the Kevitsa mine in Finland, the Las Cruces mine in Spain, and the GuelbMoghrein mine in Mauritania. Some of the company’s mines, including the ones mentioned above, also produce gold, nickel, zinc, and cobalt, according to itsOperating Mines report. First Quantum’s leaders include Chairman of the Board and CEO Philip Pascall and President Clive Newall.

7. Agnico Eagle Mines Limited

Headquartered in Toronto, Agnico Eagle Mines made $1.985 billion in revenue in 2015 from its mining operations, according tothis news release about its 2015 performance. Its mines include the LaRonde, Canadian Malartic, Goldex, and La India gold mines, with the first three in Quebec and the latter in northern Mexico. Agnico also owns the Kittila gold mine in Finland and other gold mines in Canada and Mexico. The company’s corporate leadership includes Vice Chairman and CEO Sean Boyd and President Ammar Al-Joundi.

8. Yamana Gold Inc.

Yamana Gold is also based in Toronto. Its 2015 revenue totaled $1.8 billion, basedon the sale of 1,248,401 ounces of gold, 8.9 million ounces of silver, and 126 million pounds of copper, according to its 2015 Annual Report. Its mines include the Chapada gold-copper mine in Brazil, the El Penon gold-silver mine in Chile, and the Canadian Malartic gold mine in Quebec. The company’s leaders include Chairman/CEO Peter Marrone and Executive Vice President Charles Main.

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May 5, 2021

Mining 4.0: How innovation is shaping mines of the future

Bently Nevada
Baker Hughes
Digital Transformation
Industry 4.0
Benjamin Byrne & Chris Engdahl
8 min
How mining's place in the fourth industrial revolution holds the key to the world's carbon neutral future

Mining may be the gateway to the world’s carbon neutral future.  Green energy storage systems, for one, are largely dependent on minerals. According to the World Bank Group, clean energy needs will escalate demand for rare earth minerals by nearly 500% by 2050.

While this growing demand holds much promise for mining companies, it also creates new challenges. Mining operators must navigate the ever-present highly cyclical market conditions and capital-intense operations. Recent trends layer on additional challenges, such as the progressive retirement of the industry’s most experienced workers, increasing regulatory pressures, and rising energy costs. To proactively manage these multiple challenges and capitalize on rising demand, mining companies must innovate and lower operating costs to remain both profitable and viable. 

Why the urgent need for innovation?

Leading mining companies have shown that lower operating expense (OpEx) is a pre-requisite to on-going business success. This need is driven by the cyclical mining market and ever present,, hefty capital requirements, both of which are inherent in the mining industry. And, when demand is high, the OpEx cost component of unplanned downtime grows steeper. Data indicates that, in mining operations, the root cause of OpEx overages lies in maintenance issues that impede operating efficiencies and incur unnecessary costs. Left unaddressed, these gaps will prevent mining companies from fully capitalizing on increasing demand. 

According to McKinsey, mining companies have historically struggled with significant productivity declines, as shown below. In recent years, there is evidence that a slow recovery is underway, however, full resolution is in its’ infancy, primarily rooted in maintenance cost optimization.

Mining Productivity Index

Other data points on current mining operations underscore the urgent call for innovation and change:

  • 70%  operating efficiency due to breakdowns and stalled production, which translates to real potential for increased productivity and throughput
  • 30-50% of mining operations costs spent on maintaining plant, fleet and equipment, so, the magnitude of potential improvements on bottom-line profitability is significant
  • 3-5X cost for urgent repairs and corrective work requests versus planned maintenance, often made evident by tracking the percentage of work orders managed through the planning office.

While change is always difficult, the promise of technology (and Industry 4.0, Mining 4.0) is a welcome and required one for mining companies.  Digital technologies and automation, or Mining 4.0, is defined by smart equipment, drive data-driven (and thus better) decisions, catalyze connected communications and provide easier, more affordable maintenance. From there, mining companies will be able to speed up production, reduce downtime and boost employee safety – three pillars that have challenged mining operations for years.

The first step: Predictive maintenance via condition monitoring

As the first step to regain operational optimization and lower costs, mining companies must get “ahead of the curve” and prevent process interruptions and unplanned downtime. The key is predictive maintenance via condition monitoring systems.  By proactively assessing equipment health, mining operators can be alerted to developing failures before they occur and schedule planned repairs at the lowest possible cost and with minimal impact to production.

Condition monitoring systems are based on the principal that failure is a process, not an event. By monitoring asset characteristics, latent anomalies become apparent well before full failure, allowing for low-cost interventions, root-cause analysis and proactive planning for resolution, thereby mitigating process interruptions. Concurrent with deployment of well-engineered predictive maintenance strategy, a thorough rationalization review can minimize unnecessary or redundant maintenance tasks and, in many cases, eliminate human-induced failure modes.

Maintenance optimization is a powerful lever – and the first step -- to achieving and sustaining lower production costs in mining.

When 14% equals $8 million

Consider this PwC mining example, where predictive maintenance enabled a 14% reduction in maintenance spend by mitigating unplanned downtime to deliver US $8 million savings in operating expense (OpEx).

Goal: Reduce unplanned downtime

Solution: Condition monitoring system on critical equipment

Process:

  1. Condition monitoring insights provide operator alerts of potential failures.
  2. Proactive scheduling of repairs moves resolution to occur during planned maintenance, partial outage periods or normal equipment rotations.
  3. Asset availability and reliability increases, production interruptions are minimized and maintenance costs are reduced.

Result: 14% reduction in maintenance spend generates US $8 million in OpEx

PwC
Source: PwC “Balancing Uptime and Working Capital: Maintenance and Inventory Strategies in Mining”

Reliability and employee safety

The example above illustrates the dramatic improvements to operating expense as mining operators move from reactive / unplanned to proactive / planned maintenance. With decreased downtime, overall operational reliability also improves and with it, a metric of paramount importance in mining: employee safety.

Studies indicate that more reliable operations are safer operations. That’s because technology serves to reduce human-to-machine interaction and urgent, reactive work declines.  For one industrial company, as shown in the graph below, an OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) improvement of 52% delivered a safety improvement of 69% during a 10-year period. 

Reliability

 

Customer Case Study: Slurry pumps

Let’s look at specific mining applications ripe for optimization and maintenance cost savings.  The first is slurry pumps. In mining pumping stations, pump failures are responsible for 97% of unplanned maintenance costs. Pump reliability, however, is crucial in the areas of safety, environmental impact, and efficient transportation.

Key characteristics of slurry pumps can be monitored so that timely analysis of impending issues enable early detection of issues at inception and prior to failure. This avoids unplanned maintenance, unplanned downtime, and averts lost revenue.

In slurry pump applications, dynamic pressure sensors can be used to detect reciprocating diaphragm failures, providing a novel diagnostic to increase pump reliability. The solution is based on these design principles:

  • The hydraulic fluid flexes the diaphragm
  • When the diaphragm flexes, slurry is discharged
  • Abrasive, corrosive slurries prohibit pressure sensor installations in slurry valves
  • Thus, dynamic pressure monitoring of the hydraulic fluid assesses the effectiveness of slurry discharge

The result?  A savings of US $3 million per year, based on maintenance cost recovery and capacity increases for a 10-pump station.

Customer Case Study:  Haul Trucks

In mining operations, haul trucks are another critical asset, as they are relied upon to move raw materials.  Alignment of extraction speed to transportation speed is required to keep operations flowing smoothly.  Mining operators have invested in larger, automated haul trucks to facilitate this timing alignment and optimize logistics. Thus, haul trucks and their operational health is a key enabler of production reliability in mining operations.

Monitoring haul truck health to ensure reliability, however, presents unique challenges.  Because haul trucks are in constant motion, data collection at precise and crucial times with linkage to a monitoring center and diagnostics requires innovative thinking and design.

For one mining company, a custom engineered solution for the haul truck’s control system was designed and installed.  The system was devised to monitor haul truck health in two distinct operating states so that changes in the various failure mode characteristics could be accurately identified:

  1. Running and loaded. In this state, vibration data is collected while the truck is running, loaded and in reverse mode (braking the truck using the electric motor of the electric wheels).
  2. Unloading. During unloading, vibration monitoring data is collected when the haul truck dump or bucket is being raised.

The result?  An estimated savings of US $5 million per year, based on an iron mine fleet of 30 trucks operating at 80% capacity. 

Outcomes like the examples above are possible for mining operations via innovative condition monitoring systems. There are many other condition monitoring mining applications, such as wireless sensors for hoist systems and continuous monitoring for SAG (semi-autogenous grinding) mills that deliver transformational outcomes.  The ultimate payoff for mining companies occurs when these applications and systems scale and interconnect into an operation-wide solution, enabling more holistic optimization.

Benefits of condition monitoring

Condition monitoring is part of Mining 4.0, the transformation driven by the adoption of automation and digital technologies. Mining 4.0 inherently supports the infrastructure and process requirements for condition monitoring systems. Specifically, Mining 4.0 will facilitate capabilities such as digitization, automation, analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, establishing a powerful foundation for predictive maintenance solutions and innovation.

Technology and predictive maintenance benefits have the potential to transform mining operations, starting with condition monitoring. In addition to managing and minimizing the impact of failures, mitigating downtime and reducing maintenance costs, condition monitoring systems also help to increase worker safety, reduce energy consumption and meet environmental requirements.

These benefits unleash significant potential for radical and positive changes in mining operations. All condition monitoring systems, however, vary in scope and effectiveness, so proper selection of a design and enablement provider with full-scale capabilities and proven expertise can impact outcomes significantly.

Innovation beyond technology

While innovation and transformation hold great potential, mining companies must go beyond reducing maintenance costs and implementing technology solutions. Companies must work differently and work smarter to capitalize on the full potential of digital technologies and holistic data strategies that deliver operation-wide benefits. For successful adoption, overcoming internal organizational barriers and cultural challenges to digital adoption is equally essential.  

To reduce pressure on capital-intense mining operations, condition monitoring solutions can be “self-funding” initiatives on the journey toward Mining 4.0 as operational benefits of condition monitoring are realized progressively from the early stages of implementation.

The way forward for mining companies is clear -- and full of promise. As the world increasingly relies on mining to produce the minerals needed for green energy, innovative mining leaders will usher in an era of profound global transformation that ultimately benefits us all.

To learn more about condition monitoring systems in mining operations, please reach out to speak with one of us or another experienced professional at Baker Hughes.

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