Mining stocks are shares of companies in the mining industry that are publicly traded on one or more stock markets around the world. Shares of companies involved in almost any aspect of mining and mineral commodities production can be called mining stocks. Some of the most well known types of mining stocks are from companies that produce gold, silver and other precious materials, but a mining stock can also be from a company that produces base metals, ores or minerals like salt or gypsum.
Precious metals like gold, silver, platinum and palladium are among the products of many of the most popular publicly traded mining companies. The price of their shares tend to fluctuate with the prices on the commodities market of the precious metals they produce. Gold and silver are especially hotly traded, as many of the currencies of the world are backed by one of these precious metals, and worldwide economic trends can affect the price of these commodities. Companies which produce gems are also sometimes publicly traded.
Shares of companies which produce almost any type of ore, metal or mineral product are mining stocks. These can include companies that produce ores of iron, aluminum, tin, lead, mercury or almost any other metal. Minerals like coal, salt, gypsum, rock phosphate and sulfur are other common products of mining companies. Some companies may produce sand, gravel or crushed stone to be used by construction industries.
Quarries are a type of mine that produce stone. Shares of companies in this segment of the industry are also mining stocks. Many types of stone are produced commercially, including marble, granite, limestone, shale and sandstone. Marble and granite are very popular materials for construction, in both decorative and structural roles. Floor tiles, columns, counter tops, wall coverings and entire buildings are often made from these types of stone, and many companies that produce these and other stone products are publicly held and traded on the stock market.
Mining stocks can be very volatile investments. If a company makes a discovery of a rich deposit of a precious metal or other ore, its value can rise quickly. Prices can also fall rapidly if a promising prospecting area fails to yield any significant deposits. Mine closures can have a negative effect on the price of a company's stock, while potentially driving up the price of shares in other companies that produce the same product. Mining stocks, like any other stock, should be carefully researched before a purchase is considered.