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Mine 2021: Great expectations, seizing tomorrow

Now in its 18th year, PwC's Global Mine report examines the performance of the world’s 40 largest mining companies, and the trends impacting the industry.

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Mining is one of the few industries that emerged from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic economic crisis in excellent financial and operational shape. In fact, 2020 was a banner year for the mining sector.

The Top 40 mining companies have never been in a stronger financial position to make a big, bold pivot towards the future.

And the future is already visible today: The world is in the midst of an era-defining transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy. Making ESG – environmental, social and governance issues – the core of organisational strategy provides miners with a compelling path to build trust, grow, and produce sustained outcomes for the future.

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  • 64%

    increase in market capitalisation to $US1.46 trillion

  • US$545bn

    total revenue (excluding trading) up 4% from last year

  • 15%

    increase in net profit to $US70bn

Explore the key themes from this year’s report

Make ESG the top of your growth agenda

  • Companies with higher ESG ratings demonstrate stronger long-term performance in shareholder and market value.
  • Products and services made with low-carbon inputs are increasingly in demand and beginning to attract premiums.
  • Relationships are key: identify your ESG stakeholders, listen to their concerns, and proactively engage.
  • Strong ESG performance can open the door to new capital and lower interest facilities.

Seize the ESG deal opportunities

  • Significant M&A opportunities lie on the ‘growth side’ of ESG, in gaining access to materials necessary for customers to meet bold net-zero targets; the IEA predicts a possible six-fold increase in demand for critical ‘clean energy’ minerals by 2040.
  • The shift away from thermal coal will continue, but it is mostly a defensive strategy; miners should challenge their current deal evaluation criteria to proactively align M&A activities with their ESG priorities.

Take control of your tax story

  • If you don’t tell your own tax story, someone else will: tax transparency gives miners the chance to highlight their significant financial contributions to their communities and the resulting improvements in education, infrastructure, and quality of life.
  • Tax transparency is a key ESG metric, but it involves more than merely reporting the amount of taxes a company pays; it includes being open about your tax policy, tax risk management, governance strategy and more.

COVID-19 - embrace the new normal

  • Miners have responded to the pandemic successfully. It’s time to think about how to handle the altered landscape in a ‘COVID-19 normal’ world.
    • Embrace ‘hybrid’ models of working to meet the growing demand for flexible work.
    • Build supply chain resilience through real-time visibility.
    • Fast track automation and digitisation to protect worker health and safety and improve efficiency.

Contact us

Debbie Smith

National Mining Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 7 3257 5000

Paul Bendall

Global Mining Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 3 8603 3891

Marcus Goddard

Partner, Brisbane, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 412 299 775

James O'Reilly

Global Energy Utilities & Resources Tax Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 7 3257 8057

Aliza Syed

Senior Manager, Assurance, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 3 8603 2118

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