The world’s 40 largest mining companies continued their steady growth last year despite low investor sentiment, according to PwC’s Mine 2019 report.
Five Australian companies made the top 40 list, including BHP, Rio Tinto, South32, Newcrest Mining and Fortescue Metals Group.
As a group, the top 40 increased revenue by eight per cent and lifted production by two per cent.
They also boosted cash flows, paid down debt and provided a record $43 billion dividend return to shareholders.
There was a notable jump in share buybacks to $15 billion, which is up from $4 billion in 2017.