031110 A new study has found that SA coal reserves have been significantly downsized since 2003.photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi 453

Exxaro has been named one of the top 10 mining companies in the world for delivering the highest returns to shareholders over a 10-year period, the mining company said on Thursday.

Over the period 2001 to 2011, Exxaro Resources delivered an average return to shareholders (TSR) of 39.2 percent, placing it seventh.

First place went to the Mexican miner Industrias Penoles, which had an average TSR of 58.2 percent over the decade.

It was followed by Grupo Mexico at 49.5 percent, and the United Kingdom's Randgold Resources at 45 percent.

The results were contained in the report Value Creation in Mining 2012, which was released by the Boston Consulting Group.

The report was the result of a study of 34 leading mining companies.

The group looked at the combination of revenue growth and change in margins as an indicator of a company's improvement in fundamental value.

It found an average returns to shareholders of 18 percent over the period 2001 to 2011.

There was an average TSR of 39 percent among the top 10

companies, which also showed continued high TSRs during the second half of the decade, a period which encompassed the global financial crisis.

The study showed that the best managed mining companies had quality management of capital expenditures, cash flows and debt, and sound dividend policies.

The other mining companies in the top 10 were Canada's First Quantum Minerals (42.7 percent); China's Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal (40.2 percent); United States miner Cliffs Natural Resources (40.1

percent); Sociedad Químaca y Minera de Chile (36.9 percent); the UK's Antofagasta (32.4 percent); and China's Yanzhou Coal Mining (30.1 percent). - Sapa