Top 50 Biggest Mining Companies (, Frik Els | Apr. 3, 2017) and sister company IntelligenceMine's ranking of the world's 50 largest mining companies based on market value continues to show an industry in recovery.

At the end of the first quarter this year the top 50 companies had a combined worth of $842 billion. In total these companies' added $258 billion in market capitalization over the past 12 months and a good fifth of those gains occurred in 2017.

Another indication of how the rising tide of commodity prices lifted all boats is the fact that the cut-off today to make the ranking is $5 billion (number 51 Kumba Iron Ore has a market worth of $4.96 billion). A year ago it was less than $4 billion.

Changing fortunes in subsectors saw the ranking change noticeably lower down the field. A year ago when gold was still enjoying one of its best starts in decades, gold miners were riding high, but well-known names like AngloGold Ashanti and Kinross no longer make the grade. That said, world number one gold company Barrick managed to improve its ranking.

In contrast, coal and iron ore players bunched up near the bottom at the beginning of the second quarter 2016 when most steelmaking raw materials prices were hitting multi-year lows significantly improved their rankings. Australia's Fortescue has shot up 20 places while Canada's Teck managed to climb 26 spots.

As with any ranking, criteria for inclusion is a contentious issue. We decided to exclude unlisted and state-owned enterprises at the outset due to a lack of information. That of course excludes giants like Chile's Codelco, Uzbekistan's Navoi Mining which owns the world's largest gold mine, Eurochem, a major potash firm, trader Trafigura, top uranium producer Kazatomprom and numerous entities in China and developing countries around the world.

Another central criterion was the depth of involvement in the industry before an enterprise can rightfully be called a mining company.

For instance, should smelter companies or commodity traders that own minority stakes in mining assets be included, especially if these investments have no operational component or not even warrant a seat on the board?

This is a common structure in Asia and excluding these types of companies removed well-known names like Japan's Marubeni and Mitsui, Korea Zinc and Chile's Copec.

Levels of operational involvement and size of shareholding was another central consideration. Do streaming and royalty companies that receive metals from mining operations without shareholding qualify or is are they just specialized financing vehicles? We included Franco Nevada and Silver Wheaton.

What about diversified companies such as BHP Billiton or Teck with substantial oil and gas assets? Or oil sands companies that use conventional mining methods to extract bitumen for that matter?

Or vertically integrated concerns like Alcoa and number three on the list Shenhua Energy which is a power and shipping company more than a coal miner.

Chemical companies are also problematic – should FMC Corp not be ranked because its potash and lithium operations are such a small part of its overall revenues and what about Albermarle? While the merger of Potash Corp and Agrium is still to close we included only Potash Corp on this listing.

Many steelmakers own and often operate iron ore and other metal mines, but in the interest of balance and diversity we excluded the steel industry, and with that many companies that have substantial mining assets including giants like ArcelorMittal, Magnitogorsk, Ternium, Baosteel and many others.

Let us know of any omissions, deletions or additions to the ranking or suggest a different methodology.

1 BHP Billiton Melbourne, Australia Diversified 57.157.1 90.6790672874077
2 Rio Tinto Melbourne, Australia Diversified 62.162.1 74.0474043233873
3 Glencore Baar, Switzerland Diversified 99.399.3 55.9855982836248
4 China Shenhua Energy Dongcheng, China Coal 56.256.2 54.9654956939208
5 Vale Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Steel Raw Materials 95.395.3 48.3148313883783
6 Coal India Kolkata, India Coal 2.82.8 28.1828178530636
7 Southern Copper Phoenix, United States Base Metals 30.430.4 28.0428038003608
8 Norilsk Nickel Moscow, Russia Base Metals 3.13.1 25.3025301023966
9 Barrick Gold Toronto, Canada Precious Metals 42.242.2 22.6722670646582
10 Anglo American London, United Kingdom Diversified 3.53.5 21.2821280612472
11 Freeport-McMoRan Phoenix, United States Base Metals 28.028 19.2119208722969
12 Hindustan Zinc Udaipur, India Base Metals 57.957.9 18.9518949789311
13 Newmont Mining Denver, United States Precious Metals 27.527.5 18.0318028913645
14 Polyus Moscow, Russia Precious Metals 16.716.7 17.3417337632302
15 Fortescue Metals Group Perth, Australia Iron Ore 142.2142.2 14.6814683797888
16 Potash Corp Saskatoon, Canada Potash 0.10.1 14.1914187781634
17 Fresnillo Mexico City, Mexico Precious Metals 61.561.5 14.0614060477191
18 Newcrest Mining Melbourne, Australia Precious Metals 34.134.1 13.2113214844600
19 Teck Resources Vancouver, Canada Diversified 201.2201.2 12.9512946746091
20 Ma'aden Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Diversified 43.743.7 12.7112712196007
21 Goldcorp Vancouver, Canada Precious Metals -8.7-8.7 12.5812579612013
22 Vedanta Panaji, India Diversified 203.5203.5 12.0812081601170
23 Alrosa Mirny, Russia Diamond 32.232.2 12.0812081601170
24 Franco Nevada Toronto, Canada Precious Metals 8.28.2 11.6911692480000
25 South32 Perth, Australia Diversified 93.193.1 11.3011297422058
26 China Coal Energy Chaoyang, China Coal 26.226.2 10.4010396803343
27 Antofagasta London, United Kingdom Base Metals 79.179.1 10.2810276917340
28 Zijin Mining Xiamen, China Precious Metals 23.123.1 10.2210223342748
29 PeÐoles Mexico City, Mexico Precious Metals 119.5119.5 10.2110205001500
30 Mosaic Plymouth, United States Potash 7.17.1 10.0710066747607
31 China Molybdenum Luoyang City, China Base Metals 111.1111.1 9.919913281225
32 Agnico Eagle Toronto, Canada Precious Metals 20.420.4 9.869864031538
33 Uralkaliy Berezniki, Russia Potash -4.6-4.6 9.859851306748
34 Shandong Gold Jinan, China Precious Metals 33.533.5 9.649638991007
35 Silver Wheaton Vancouver, Canada Precious Metals 27.627.6 9.589575187474
36 SQM Santiago, Chile Lithium 66.266.2 9.139127103607
37 Shaanxi Coal Xian, China Coal 43.243.2 8.958952668149
38 Sumitomo Metal Mining Tokyo, Japan Base Metals 43.643.6 8.258253301800
39 Randgold Resources Jersey, United Kingdom Precious Metals 10.510.5 8.218207842473
40 Boliden Stockholm, Sweden Base Metals 105.5105.5 8.158149975101
41 Jiangxi Copper Guixi City, China Base Metals 35.735.7 7.707697375295
42 First Quantum Minerals Vancouver, Canada Base Metals 106.1106.1 7.217213802741
43 Yanzhou Coal Zoucheng, China Coal 53.453.4 6.956951206531
44 NMDC Hyderabad, India Diversified 36.536.5 6.506500070205
45 China Northern Rare Earth Baotou, China Rare Earth -6.6-6.6 6.386384398680
46 Tianqi Lithium Industries Chengdu, China Lithium -2.2-2.2 6.236233354947
47 Turquoise Hill Resources Vancouver, Canada Base Metals 22.022 6.206204027782
48 Anglo American Platinum Johannesburg, South Africa Precious Metals -14.8-14.8 6.056051795962
49 KGHM Lubin, Poland Base Metals 55.055 5.955945285166
50 ICL Israel Chemicals Tel Aviv, Israel Potash -1.6-1.6 5.43