If you are an investor interested in the precious metals market, you have probably noticed 2019 is going to be a big year for gold mining companies.

By next year, the industry may feel a little outdated and the third-world mining camps and industrial pollution is doing little to amend that reputation, but the business of gold mining is as essential to the global economy as it has ever been.

As elite mining companies continue to jockey for position at the top, one thing is for certain: there are investment dollars to be made in 2019 with successful gold mines.


FAQs about Gold Mining Companies


1. What Do Top Gold Mining Companies Share in Common?

2. What Other Revenue Streams Do Gold Mining Companies Have?

3. How Do Gold Mining Companies Grow?

4. Where Can I Buy Shares in a Gold Mining Company?


Take a Closer Look


To present to you accurate summaries of the top 10 gold mining companies, we did our homework. We reviewed media coverage of the mining and metals industry, gathered information available from regulatory bodies and analyzed data furnished by national governments. Additionally, we studied media coverage alleging improper business conduct on the part of mining operations and studies conducted by Human Rights Watch and the United Nations.

We paid special attention to allegations of environmental and human rights crimes, stock prices over the last five years, forecasts for 2019 and any major developments in active mines or the acquisition of active mines.

gold bars

Range of Assets of the Top Gold Mining Companies


 

The companies we reviewed for this article range in the total value of their assets from $782 million to about $30 billion, with a median around the $10 billion mark.


Who We Reviewed


  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Newmont Mining Corporation
  • AngloGold Ashanti
  • Kinross Gold Corporation
  • Goldcorp Inc.
  • Newcrest Mining Limited
  • Polyus
  • Gold Fields Limited
  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited
  • Freeport-McMoran

Barrick Gold Corporation

Features 

Barrick Gold Corporation is the largest gold mining company in the world, although its status is far from assured going forward. The company is headquartered in Toronto and operates mines in Canada, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Peru, Papua New Guinea and Chile.

Despite some far-flung operations, Barrick makes the vast majority of its revenue in the Americas. Barrick recently agreed to a lucrative mutual investment with the Chinese mining giant Shandong Gold in an effort to retain its premier status.

Barrick Gold logo

Pros

  • Charitable programs for native American tribes         
  • Adheres to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
  • Invests in renewable energy

Cons

  • According to Human Rights Watch, private security forces hired by Barrick committed extensive human rights violations
  • Dumped cyanide compounds into Argentine rivers

Value of the Company

Barrick's assets are valued at roughly $15.7 billion.


2017 Output in Ounces

Barrick produced 5.32 million ounces of gold in 2017.


Newmont Mining Corporation

Features 

The second largest mining outfit in the world is the Greenwood Village, Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corporation. Newmont has active gold mines in Nevada, Australia, Ghana, Peru and Suriname.

The company's all-in sustaining cost margins have eclipsed those of Barrick. Despite a recent pullback in share prices, projections for growth insinuate Newmont will be the industry leader in short order.

Newmont Mining logo

Pros

  • Launched an ecosystem conservation program 
  • Ostensibly committed to conflict-free gold

Cons

  • Received improper tax cuts in Nevada
  • Polluted the Bayat Bay in Indonesia in 2004
  • Forced relocation of native residents of Ghana in 2009

Value of the Company 

The total value of Newmont's assets is about $20.5 billion.


2017 Output in Ounces

Newmont produced 5.3 million ounces of gold, about the same amount as Barrick.


AngloGold Ashanti

Features 

Aside from Newmont, the Johannesburg-based mining company AngloGold Ashanti represents Barrick's strongest competition for the top spot in the industry. The company has operations in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and a few remote islands in the South Pacific. Modest growth projections suggest Newmont is stronger competition for Barrick, but AngloGold Ashanti is a nascent uptrend that should hold through 2019.

AngloGold Ashanti logo

Pros

  • Launched an environmental sustainability program     
  • Claims a fierce commitment to human rights

Cons

  • Has sanctioned unacceptable safety standards in platinum mines in 2006 and 2008

Value of the Company

The value of AngloGold Ashanti's assets is around $9.5 billion.


2017 Output in Ounces

The company produced 3.8 million ounces of gold in 2017.


Kinross Gold Corporation

Features 

The Kinross Gold Corporation is a mining company with its headquarters in Toronto and active mines in the United States, Brazil, Ghana, Mauritania and Russia. Historically, the company has expanded by conducting mergers and acquisitions to grow in new markets. That has informed projections for substantial growth in 2019 alongside their successful extant projects.

The company's recent downturn was unfortunate yet in-line with expectations and should not disrupt a healthy future.

Kinross Gold Corporation logo

Pros

  • Received an A- ranking for social responsibility  
  • Reputation for safe environmental management
  • Robust education-related donations

Cons

  • Inspired strikes among Mauritanian workers
  • Accused of corruption in Mauritania

Value of the Company

Kinross is valued at $9.1 billion.


2017 Output in Ounces

In 2017, Kinross produced 2.7 million ounces of gold.


Goldcorp Inc.

Features 

Goldcorp is one of the largest gold mining companies in Canada, with a headquarters in Vancouver and operations in Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. The company has a strong reputation as an environmentally responsible operator and a fair employer with the Canadian reputation.

The company has faced a number of legal issues, but has yet to be proven to be at fault for any major infraction common among gold mining companies. The last five years have been difficult for Goldcorp but projections for 2019 are good.

Goldcorp Inc logo

Pros

  • Joined the International Council on Mining and Metals  
  • Adheres to the voluntary International Cyanide Management Code

Cons

  • Polluted swaths of Central American rainforest
  • Allegedly mistreated Guatemalan workers
  • Sanctioned illegal logging in the Dominican Republic

Value of the Company

As of the third quarter of 2018, Goldcorp is worth about $21.5 billion.


2017 Output in Ounces

In 2017, Goldcorp produced 2.3 million ounces of gold.


Newcrest Mining Limited

Features

Although Newcrest Mining Limited was founded in New York, it is now among the largest gold mining companies out of Australia. The company's mines are concentrated in Australia, with ancillary operations in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Ivory Coast.

The company's second-most profitable revenue stream behind gold is copper, which Newcrest mines across the company's home country. In 2010, Newcrest merged with Lihir Gold, one of the largest Indonesian gold mining companies, to become a more competitive force in the industry.

Newcrest Mining Limited logo

Pros

  • International Council on Mining and Metals member organization     
  • Business model integrates environmental management

Cons

  • Accused of human rights violations in Honduras
  • Polluted tracts of the Indonesian rainforest

Value of the Company 

Newcrest Mining is worth approximately $10.2 billion.


2017 Output in Ounces

Newcrest Mining produced about 2.3 million ounces of gold in 2017.


Polyus

Features

Polyus is the largest of Russia's gold mining companies with a headquarters in Moscow and operations throughout Siberia and Russia's easternmost provinces.

The firm's all-in sustaining costs are the worst among the companies reviewed for this article. Polyus has overcome those costs to fuel massive increases in share price over the course of 2015 and 2016, after which the price stabilized.

The company's new management team has inspired investor confidence in Russia and solid growth projections from forecasters around the world for 2019.

Polyus logo

Pros

  • Gives lip-service to hot-button environmental issues     
  • Makes semi-optional payments to the Russian government

Cons

  • Payments to the Russian government may be illegal 
  • Accused of money laundering

Value of the Company

Polyus is worth around $6 billion.


2017 Output in Ounces

In 2017, Polyus produced 2.2 million ounces of gold.


Gold Fields Limited

Features

Gold Fields Limited is the second-largest of South Africa's gold mining companies. The company is headquartered in Johannesburg, and it has active operations in South Africa, Ghana, Australia and Peru.

Gold Fields has historically relied on acquisitions to expand the company's presence in regions where it is already active. The company runs a very efficient operation in terms of all-in sustaining cost compared to the largest gold mining companies in the world.

Despite a checkered past, Gold Fields is on a bullish trajectory for 2019.

Gold Fields Limited

Pros

  • Espouses a commitment to environmentally conscious energy 
  • Consistently decreases fossil fuel consumption

Cons

  • Accused of bribery in South Africa
  • Faces major lawsuits related to lung disease in workers

Value of the Company

As of 2018, Gold Fields Limited is valued at $782 million.


2017 Output in Ounces

In 2017, Gold Fields produced 2.2 million ounces of gold.


Agnico Eagle Mines Limited

Features 

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited is one of the largest gold mining companies in Canada. Its headquarters are in Toronto and it has operations in Canada, Mexico and Finland. Despite a hit to share prices early in 2018, the company's share value has climbed by 18 percent since 2014. Its share price also beat third quarter earnings and revenue expectations to maintain the company's long-term uptrend.

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited logo

Pros

  • Strong record of coordination with indigenous authorities in Canada   
  • Supports human rights initiatives for workers
  • Committed to conflict-free gold production

Cons

  • Funded an environmentally controversial project in the Amazon
  • Bankrolled a dubious project in the Arctic circle

Value of the Company

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited is worth around $7.8 billion


2017 Output in Tons

In 2017, Agnico Eagle produced 1.7 million ounces of gold.


Freeport-McMoRan

Features 

Freeport-McMoRan is the largest of Arizona's gold mining companies. The firm operates primarily in the American West but it also has active mines in Chile, Peru, Spain and Indonesia. The company's gold business lags behind its performance in molybdenum and copper production.

In the last five years, Freeport-McMoRan's share price is down nearly 70%, but projects are in the works to put the company back on track. As of the third quarter of 2018, the company is on a nascent uptrend.

Freeport-McMoRan logo

Pros

  • Stringent human rights policy  
  • Conducts voluntary environmental reviews

Cons

  • Accused of environmentally unacceptable business practices by the Indonesian government
  • Inspired strikes in the Indonesian workforce

Value of the Company

Freeport-McMoRan total assets are worth about $37.3 billion.


2017 Output in Tons

In 2017, Freeport-McMoRan produced 1.43 million ounces of gold.


The Verdict


Among these companies, it is most likely Newmont will overtake Barrick in 2019 as the largest gold mining outfit on the planet and a share price to reflect its achievement. That being said, it is hard to bet against a company with the track record of a firm like Barrick, especially when you consider its new partnership with Shandong Gold.

The only other firm with a realistic shot at overtaking the reigning champion is AngloGold Ashanti, which, admittedly, does not have as strong a chance as Newmont. If the heavyweights are too thick for your blood, consider investing in Agnico Eagle or Freeport-McMoRan, dark horse companies with strong projections. No matter what, do not miss out on the gold market in 2019.

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