Mining industry value drops below one trillion dollars

Mining industry value drops below one trillion dollars

The value of the mining sector worldwide has dropped below one trillion US dollars for the first time since 2009. (Image copyright: Dragon Images | Shutterstock.com)

For the first time since 2009, the market value of the global mining sector has dropped below US$1 trillion, according to a new report by SNL Metals and Mining.

While not by much, the crossing of the line clearly illustrates how battered mining stocks have been as of late.

In aggregate, the 2,684 listed companies tracked by SNL went down a bit over 9% in September alone and a more impressive 43% since mid-2014.

Only four years ago, during the peak of the so-called “mining boom”, the sector was worth nearly US$2.5 trillion, a far cry from the current situation.

To put things in perspective, SNL notes that the entire industry is now worth less than Apple and Google combined, which are valued at $650 billion and $440 billion respectively.

Despite this, SNL's Pipeline Activity Index, which measures exploration and development activity, improved in September after a healthy increase in drilling activity and a slight uptick in announcements of initial resources.

The upbeat picture was offset by a 50% drop in the number of financings by companies with annual revenue of less than US$500 million, says SNL:

There were only 12 such financings of over US$2 million last month, compared with 24 in August and 36 in June. This represented the lowest number of financings by exploration companies since at least January 2012. However, the US$171 million raised in September (70% by Canadian companies) was 15% higher than the month before, although still only a third of the US$513 million registered in June.

Last month, most miners experienced one of the deepest intra-day losses in history, after a series of broker downgrades triggered by continued fears over China’s growth and falling commodities.

About $51 billion were wiped from the ASX alone, while on Asia, Europe and North America resources firms were at the forefront of a general sell-off.