Canada’s Top 40: Our Picks for 2001
The past 18 months have seen great change in Canada’s mining industry. There are mergers: Teck and Cominco became Teck Cominco; Kinross is taking over Echo Bay Mines and TVX Gold; Barrick Gold took over Homestake; and BHP and Billiton united to form BHP Billiton. There has been a major decampment: Boliden moved back to Sweden and no longer reports to a Canadian stock listing authority. There is a new name on the scene: Newmont has taken over Franco-Nevada, creating Newmont Mining Corp. of Canada Ltd. Such activities are making it more difficult to find 40 large Canadian mining companies but, on the other hand, opening up the list to smaller home-grown enterprises.
We started with the premise that a “Canadian mining company” must be incorporated in Canada and have at least one producing Canadian mine, or a substantial share of one. The figures we used were from the latest annual reports or material filed with the Canadian Depository for Securities, and available on the Internet at www.sedar.ca. Where amounts were reported in U.S. dollars, we used the Bank of Canada’s 2001 average exchange rate to convert them to Canadian dollars.
The top five look much the same as last year with the notable exception of Inco ($3.20 billion revenue), which has slipped to sixth place. Noranda, which posted $6.15 billion of revenue last year, is again at the top of Canadian mining companies as it has been since 1993. Alcan, which might top our list with revenues of $19.55 billion, is not included because it does no mining in this country.
Some companies may not spring to mind when talking “mining”, but they deserve to be included. Two steelmakers – Dofasco and Stelco – are reported by virtue of their interests in Wabush Mines, an iron ore producer. Denison Energy Inc. (which used to be Denison Mines Ltd.) is still on our list because it is a partner in both the McLean Lake and Midwest uranium mines. Timminco mines limestone near Haley, Ont., although it is best known as a supplier of magnesium and specialty alloys.
Other companies have a secure footing in Canada but receive much of their revenue from operations outside the country. Inmet operates the Troilus gold mine in Quebec and base metal mines in Europe. Aur Resources operates the Louvicourt base metal mine, also in Quebec, and copper mines in South America.
We also want to mention several producers who almost made the list this year: Highwood Resources ($17.6 million), Hillsborough Resources ($14.9 million), Aurizon Mines ($14.6 million), Wheaton River ($14.4 million), Mazarin ($8.1 million), and Exall Resources ($2.6 million). Although revenues were modest in 2001 for Tahera Corp. and Hope Bay Gold, they could jump substantially if the companies’ respective diamond and gold projects reach production as planned. We look forward to that kind of good news.