Canada’s largest mining companies played a prominent role in the sector’s emerging global recovery that began in 2016. Canadian companies’ rising valuations kept pace with those of their international counterparts, and six Canadian-based miners made the global Top 40 as their aggregate market valuation soared by 46% last year.
In addition, four Canadian-based companies ranked among the five largest metal streaming/royalty businesses in the world, putting Canada at the forefront of alternative financing. These financial innovators were recently trading at an average price-to-net-asset value of 1.3x, compared with a value of 1.0x for members of the Top 40.
— Maxime Guilbault, Senior Manager, Assurance, Mining
Canada also led the way on equity financing in 2016, with the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange responsible for 57% of global financings during the year, according to the TMX Group and S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Exploration dollars poured into Canada at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world last year. The country attracted 14% of the total global exploration budget. Australia was a close second with 13%, followed by the United States (7%). Members of the Top 40 limited the number of new mining investments made in 2016, favouring geographies considered to be the more politically stable for such investment. Even with commodity prices rebounding and operating costs at a cyclical low, miners are continuing to be cautious with new investments.
Canadian-based members of the Top 40 demonstrated a leadership role in diversity during 2016. For example, women filled 21% of the board of director seats in Canada, compared with 16% of the directorships among the non-Canadian companies.
The Canadian miners are also taking a lead role in the early adoption of new technologies. Goldcorp, for instance, recently began using IBM’s cognitive computing system known as Watson, which unlike traditional computers can learn from interactions with data and humans. And Barrick Gold has begun to work with Cisco Systems to embed digital technology throughout its Cortez mine in Nevada, with the aim of improving decision-making and performance.
See the Canadian mining companies on the
List of Top 40 by market capitalization
Canada continues to be a leading destination for mining in the world, both in terms of raising capital and exploration, continuing to play a part in many of the major future global mining projects. This continued investment allows Canada to continue to attract a strong talent pool of people connected to the industry, from finance professionals in the many head offices located in Canada, to the geologists monitoring drill holes in the northern territories, giving us momentum that ensures Canada is a strong participant in a strengthening industry.
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