BHP Group (NYSE: BBL) is the U.S.-traded version of BHP that’s primary listing is on the LSE. BHP’s Australia-listed shares also trade in the United States, and the two are fundamentally the same, but the LSE-variant pays its dividend in sterling so there are exchange rate differences with the Australia-listed shares. BHP produced 1.68 million metric tons of copper in the 2020 calendar year to rank as the world’s second-largest producer. The company is the joint owner of the world’s largest copper mine, the Escondida mine in Chile, with partners Rio Tinto and Japan’s JECO.
The BBL shares have risen by more than 38% over the past 12 months, and the stock trades at around $52.10, implying upside of 19% based on a median price target of $62. The majority of brokerages covering the stock (11 of 19) rate the shares at Hold, and six rate the stock a Buy or Strong Buy. The stock’s 52-week range is $37.88 to $68.05, and the company pays an annual dividend of $6.02, for a yield of 11.79%.
U.K.-based Rio Tinto Group (NYSE: RIO) has copper mines in Mongolia and Utah, along with a new prospect in Western Australia. The company produced about 528,000 metric tons of copper last year, not enough to qualify for the top five. Rio Tinto has guided 2021 copper production in a range of 500,000 to 550,000 metric tons.
Rio Tinto’s share price has increased by about 29% in the past year, and the stock trades at around $68.60, implying an upside of more than 14% based on a median price target of $78.50. Of 23 analysts covering the stock, 11 rate the shares as a Buy or Strong Buy, and nine more have a Hold rating on the stock. The 52-week range is $55.39 to $95.97, and Rio Tinto pays an annual dividend of $6.85, for a yield of 10.2%.
Brazil’s Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) produced about 360,000 metric tons of copper in 2020. Like Rio Tinto, the amount was not enough to rank even in the top 10 producers of copper. The company is a global leader in iron ore production, however, with an expected 2021 total of 315 million to 335 million metric tons. A July strike at the company’s Sudbury, Canada, mine and a recent fire at its Brazilian Salobo mine have hampered production, however.
Over the past 12 months, Vale’s share price has jumped by 62%, and the stock trades at around $14.50, implying nearly 50% to a median price target of $21.70. Of 22 analysts covering the stock, 16 rate the shares a Buy or Strong Buy, and five more have a Hold rating on the stock. The 52-week price range is $10.39 to $23.18. Vale’s annual dividend is $2.70, yielding a whopping 19.25%.
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