Once upon a time, the British Isles’ abundance of lead, copper, tin, iron and silver was enough to spark a Roman invasion. Two millennia later, mining is not a major force in the UK economy. Apart from some dwindling coal output, and a sprinkling of potash, tin and tungsten production, most of what we now dig out of the ground is construction aggregate.
But in another sense, the UK is home to one of the world’s major mining centres. That’s because London has long been a hub for natural resources investment; the location to which companies from all around the world flock for project financing and a trusted and stable legal system.
As we pointed out in last year’s feature on the world’s most exciting oil and gasfields, London gives UK investors with the appetite to buy and sell natural resources stocks a near-unparalleled access to disparate geographies and prospects. This pool isn’t confined to small start-up projects on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim). A mere glance at the constituents of the FTSE 100 shows the plethora of gigantic extractive companies with stakes in some of the biggest and highest-quality mines on the planet.