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From Miners to Big Oil, the Great Commodity Cash Machine Is Back

Diggers and drillers are making billions after the rally in commodity prices fuels a stunning recovery from the pandemic.

Inside Rio Tinto's Mining Operations

Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg

Just over five years ago Anglo American Plc was in deep trouble. The natural resources giant, beset by a collapse in commodity prices, scrapped its dividend and announced plans to close mines and cut thousands of workers. Amid talk of an emergency capital raise, its market value fell to less than $3 billion.

This week, the trials of 2016 probably seemed like a parallel universe to its Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani. Fueled by a rally in iron ore and other commodity prices, he announced record first-half earnings and billions in dividends. Anyone who took a punt on Anglo’s shares when they reached their nadir, would have seen a 14-fold increase as the market capititalization soared to $55 billion.