When it comes to mining companies, the UK is still very much front and centre. Three of the world’s top five mining companies are listed on the UK’s FTSE 100 – namely, BHP Billiton, Glencore and Rio Tinto. Anglo-American, another heavyweight mining firm, is also in the top 10.

Due to the slump in worldwide commodity prices, including Copper, Nickel and Zinc, these firms have likewise seen their share prices go into something of a downward spiral.


Copper, Nickel and Zinc Prices Have Tumbled

A year ago, Copper was trading at above the 2.7000 mark, on the upturn after recent downward movement. However, a year on from that and we can see that this upturn was clearly temporary. Copper is now trading at around the 2.1420 mark

Zinc has followed a similar trajectory in the past year, with a brief rise followed by a greater fall, although there has been a slight upturn in recent months. A year ago Zinc was at just below the 1.000 mark, whilst now it’s at 0.8500.

The same holds true of Nickel, which also saw a slight surge in April of last year before slumping. Trading at around the 5.700 a year ago, Nickel is now somewhere close to the 3.800 mark, nowhere close to its level just a year before.  



Now Vs. a Year Ago, The Stock Prices 


BHP Billiton

At this point, BHP Billiton is the biggest mining company in the world. It’s also lost close to half its value in the past 12 months, if the stock market is an accurate indicator. The share price was at 30.34 on April 1st 2015, but is now trading at around the 16.8 mark on the 31st March 2016.  


Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto, the second largest global company, has been along a similar downward trajectory, although slightly less extreme – they are only down around 20% on a year ago, going from 56.41 on 1st April 2015 to around the 42.7 mark on the 31st March 2016.


Glencore and Anglo-American

These two other mining titans both weathered savage 2015’s, and their slump in share price reflects this; the former dropped from 285.90  a year ago to around the 156 mark a year later, whilst Anglo-American, which was at 1012 a year ago, is now at 552.


Commodities and the FTSE 100

The drastic drops suffered by ‘the miners’, as these firms are often referred to collectively as on the UK stock market, have often affected the level of the FTSE as a whole. The FTSE is down on where it was a year ago, having gone from 6809.5 to 6174.90. Whilst this is certainly not solely due to the mining companies which are part of the index, they’ve certainly played a part in that process.  

There is little indication at this point in time to suggest that there will be a reversal in the steep decline of certain metals and subsequently, a reversal in the fortunes of these heavyweight mining firms. Markets, however, are constantly looking for an indication of a stable level, which could allow firms to take stock and make plans for the new reality. Has Zinc, at least reached that point? The coming months should give us some indication.