The good times are rolling in for mining companies. Take BHP Billiton; it’s the world’s largest miner, and puts in a regular appearance in our risers chart, in fact shares are up 47% up so far this year. Yesterday it posted the biggest annual profits ever by an Australian firm, – $6.4bn.

No prizes for guessing why: It’s China, of course. Take iron ore, for example. In the year just gone, the land beyond the Great Wall accounted for 12.6% of BHP’s iron ore market, but that’s just the beginning. It predicts Chinese demand rising to between 15% and 20% within five years.

© Investment & Business News 2013