The mining industry is comprised of companies that explore and mine for precious and nonprecious metals and minerals, as well as energy commodities like coal and petroleum. They are used in the manufacturing of a broad range of industrial products, capital goods, and consumer items including machines, computers, clothing, buildings, and automobiles. Some companies in the mining sector even produce agricultural commodities. Mining is a global industry, but five of the largest companies are headquartered in China, the world's second-largest economy. Other big mining names are based in the U.K., Switzerland, Australia, and Brazil.

Below we look at the 10 biggest mining companies by 12-month trailing (TTM) revenue. Some companies outside the U.S. report profits semi-annually instead of quarterly, so the 12-month trailing data may be older than it is for companies that report quarterly. Data is courtesy of YCharts.com, unless otherwise noted. All figures are as of September 11.

This list is limited to companies that are publicly traded in the U.S. or Canada, either directly or through ADRs. However, we note that two of these companies trade at such low volumes that they should be avoided even though they have publicly listed ADRs: Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. (600362) and Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. (600188). Due to their size and importance they have been included on the list, but with the ticker symbol associated with their respective listings on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE).

Some of the stocks below are only traded over-the-counter (OTC) in the U.S., not on exchanges. Trading OTC stocks often carries higher trading costs than trading stocks on exchanges. This can lower or even outweigh potential returns.

#1 Glencore PLC (GLNCY)

  • Revenue (TTM): $178.6 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): -$3.2 billion
  • Market Cap: $30.7 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -27.9%
  • Exchange: OTC

Glencore is a Switzerland-based multinational commodity trading and mining company. It produces metal, mineral, energy, and agricultural commodities. The company serves the automotive, steel, power generation, battery manufacturing, and oil sectors globally.

#2 BHP Group Ltd. (BHP)

  • Revenue (TTM): $42.9 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $8.0 billion
  • Market Cap: $137.2 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 9.9%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

BHP is an Australia-based international resources company. It explores and mines minerals, including coal, iron ore, gold, titanium, ferroalloys, nickel, and copper properties. It also offers petroleum exploration, production, and refining services. The company serves customers worldwide.

#3 Rio Tinto PLC (RIO)

  • Revenue (TTM): $41.8 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $7.2 billion
  • Market Cap: $79.8 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 21.0%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Rio Tinto is a U.K.-based multinational metals and mining company. It explores and mines for aluminum, borax, coal, copper, gold, iron ore, lead, silver, tin, uranium, zinc, titanium dioxide feedstock, diamonds, talc, and zircon. The company serves customers in various industries worldwide.

#4 Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. (600362)

  • Revenue (TTM): $40.1 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $271.4 million
  • Market Cap: $7.7 billion (RMB¥52.5 billion) 
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 2.9%
  • Exchange: Shanghai Stock Exchange

Jiangxi Copper is a China-based copper mining company. It engages in the extraction and processing of precious and scattered metal, as well as sulphuric chemistry. The company's products include copper cathode, gold, silver, sulphuric acid, copper rod, copper tube, and copper foil.

#5 Vale SA (VALE)

  • Revenue (TTM): $34.7 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $1.3 billion
  • Market Cap: $59.9 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -3.7%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Vale is a Brazil-based multinational mining company. It produces iron ore, pellets, manganese, iron alloys, gold, nickel, copper, bauxite, alumina, aluminum, potash, and coal. The company also owns and operates railroads and maritime terminals. The company operates in approximately 30 different countries.

#6 China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd. (CSUAY)

  • Revenue (TTM): $32.8 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $5.6 billion
  • Market Cap: $33.4 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -10.8%
  • Exchange: OTC

China Shenhua is a China-based producer of coal and electricity. The company operates coal mines, produces various coal products, and generates power and electricity. It also operates transportation railways for coal and non-coal commodities, and provides logistics and vessels for coal and non-coal cargo.

#7 Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd. (600188)

  • Revenue (TTM): $29.0 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $1.1 billion
  • Market Cap: $6.5 billion (RMB¥44.4 billion) 
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -19.3%
  • Exchange: Shanghai Stock Exchange

Yanzhou is a China-based coal mining company and produces a broad range of products ranging from fine coal to power coal. The company also manufactures coal mining and excavating equipment, and operates power generation, railway transport, and heating businesses.

#8 Anglo American PLC (NGLOY)

  • Revenue (TTM): $27.6 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $2.1 billion
  • Market Cap: $34.1 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 7.3%
  • Exchange: OTC

Anglo American is a U.K.-based mining company. It engages in the exploration and mining of precious metals, base metals, and ferrous metals. The company produces iron ore, manganese, metallurgical coal, copper, nickel, platinum, and diamonds. It has operations throughout the world.

#9 Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd. (ACH)

  • Revenue (TTM): $27.4 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $124.1 million
  • Market Cap: $4.0 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -28.5%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Aluminum Corporation of China is a China-based manufacturer of aluminum products. The company produces aluminum ores, aluminum, bauxite, coal, and other products. It also operates an energy segment that engages in power generation, including conventional coal-fire power generation and renewable energy generation such as wind power and photovoltaic power.

#10 Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. (ZIJMF)

  • Revenue (TTM): $21.6 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $689.5 million
  • Market Cap: $18.5 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 108.9%
  • Exchange: OTC

Zijin Mining is a China-based multinational mining company. It engages in the exploration, mining, and smelting processing of gold, copper, zinc, and other metal mineral resources. The company also conducts metal trading and investment businesses globally.