Mining & Metals

Hoover’s overview of the “Mining industry”

Excerpt from Mining Report
Companies in this industry develop mine sites; mine and quarry coal, metal ores, and nonmetallic minerals; and prepare extracted materials. Major companies include US-based Alpha Natural Resources, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Peabody Energy, and Vulcan Materials; BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto (both dually headquartered in Australia and the UK); ShenHua Group (China); Vale (Brazil); and Xstrata (Switzerland).

Competitive Landscape
Demand for coal comes mainly from generators of electricity. Metal ore demand is driven by industrial production. Nonmetallic mineral demand is driven by construction spending and agricultural spending on fertilizers. Large companies can afford to discover and develop new deposits and increase reserves. Small companies typically own just one mine, limit exploration to that one property, and operate it as efficiently as possible.

Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include coal (40 percent of industry revenue); nonmetallic minerals (32 percent); and metal ore (28 percent). Within the coal sector, primary products are bituminous coal, subbituminous coal, and lignite. Major nonmetallic minerals are crushed and broken limestone; construction sand and gravel; crushed and broken granite; potash, soda, and borate; and phosphate rock. Crushed stone, sand, and gravel are also referred to as aggregates. Copper and nickel, gold ore, and iron ore are major metallic ore products.

Mining industry

 

Hoover’s overview of the “Primary Metals Manufacturing industry”

Excerpt from Primary Metals Manufacturing Report
Companies in this industry engage in smelting and refining of ferrous and nonferrous metals and include iron and steel mills, rolled steel shape manufacturers, aluminum producers, and copper foundries. Major companies include Alcoa, Nucor, and US Steel (all in the US), along with ArcelorMittal (Luxembourg), Baosteel and Hebei Iron and Steel (China), Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal and JFE (Japan), POSCO (South Korea), Rio Tinto Alcan (Canada), Rusal (Russia), Tata Steel (India), and ThyssenKrupp (Germany).

Competitive Landscape
Demand comes largely from manufacturers of durable goods such as motor vehicles, machinery, containers, and construction steel. The profitability of individual companies depends largely on efficient operations, because most products are commodities sold based on price. Big companies have large economies of scale in production. Accordingly, most producers of secondary products buy raw metal from the large producers. Small companies can compete by serving regional markets or producing specialty products. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate more than 60 percent of revenue.

Products, Operations & Technology
Major sources of revenue for the industry include steel mill products such as sheets, bars, and plates. Other activities include aluminum sheet, plate, and foil manufacturing; copper rolling, drawing, and extruding; and the production of shapes from iron, steel, and specialty metals such as titanium, molybdenum, and beryllium. Iron and steel mills account for about 40 percent of industry revenue.

Primary Metals Manufacturing industry

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