Top mining companies shrink assets, boost revenue

Average revenue among B.C.’s biggest miners grew 23.4% over the past year

British Columbia’s largest mining companies have been shrinking their asset holdings while increasing revenue, according to data collected on Business in Vancouver’s Biggest Mining Companies in B.C. list (page 12).

Over the past five years, average asset value of the top mining companies has grown 4% to $6.8 billion in 2019 from $6.6 billion in 2015. However, this marginal growth disguises some volatile years during the same period. After peaking at $7.3 billion in 2016, the average asset value of the largest mining companies in B.C. fell 16.7% the next year and has yet to return to its 2016 high.

While average asset value grew over the past five years, median asset value dipped 8.2%, suggesting that smaller companies lower on the list reported lower asset values while larger companies higher on the list expanded their asset value.

1593 mining list chart

Despite the plunge in average asset value from its 2016 peak, average revenue jumped 25.4% to $1.72 billion in 2019 from $1.37 billion in 2015. Most of the growth occurred over the past year, with average revenue increasing 23.4% from $1.39 billion in 2018. Median revenue values grew 17.8% to $599.2 million in 2019 from $508.8 million in 2015.

No. 15-ranked Equinox Gold Corp. (TSX:EQX) had the largest one-year revenue growth among the top five on the list. It increased 856.5% to $373.8 million in 2019 from $39 million in 2018.

No. 3 Pan American Silver Corp. (TSX:PAAS) recorded the steepest five-year asset increase: up 109.5% to $4.6 billion from $2.2 billion in 2015. No. 5 B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO) had the largest five-year revenue growth in the top five on the list, increasing 116.6% to $1.5 billion in 2019 from $708 million 2015.

No. 4 Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TSX:TRQ) was the only company in the top five to post a decline over the past five years. Its revenue fell 26% to $1.5 billion in 2019 from $2.1 billion in 2015.