Industry Updates

VanEck overhauls mining ETF as IHS Markit legacy index discontinued

SPDJI calls time on EMIX index suite

Jamie Gordon

Open pit mine Siberia

VanEck is changing the index on its global mining ETF after the EMIX benchmark was discontinued by S&P Dow Jones Indices (SPDJI).

Shareholders in the $444m VanEck Global Mining UCITS ETF (GDIG) voted to switch the ETF’s underlying index to the S&P Global Mining Reduced Coal index at an extraordinary general meeting held on 16 May.

GDIG’s current benchmark, the EMIX Global Mining Constrained Weights index, was launched by IHS Markit in 1989 and captures 166 companies involved in energy, metals and mineral extraction, gold and diversified natural resources.

S&P Global acquired the EMIX range as part of its buy-out of IHS Markit in February 2022.

The ETF will switch to tracking the new index at its next rebalance.

Kamil Sudiyarov, ETF product manager at VanEck, told ETF Stream: “S&P Global – having bought IHS Markit previously – are discontinuing the EMIX index family, one of which our global mining ETF tracked.

“We decided to stay with SPDJI as our provider and we worked together to design the index, with the view of making it more future proof, removing companies that derive more than 50% of their revenues from thermal coal.

“The decarbonised future will be very resource-intensive but some resources represent preferable exposures for our clients versus others. We look to exclude companies whose main business line is thermal coal but we do not want to overplay our hand and somehow impair exposure to the underlying market the ETF is representing.”

GDIG will remain Article 6 under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). 

Sudiyarov added VanEck would not have conducted the index change if SPDJI had not discontinued the Markit EMIX equity indices.

Previously, the $420m VanEck Junior Gold Miners UCITS ETF (GDXJ) has been the mining strategy known for undergoing regular reshuffles

After amassing over $4bn between its Europe and US-listed strategies, GDXJ has changed its methodology three times to prevent becoming a significant owner of the small cap gold mining stocks it captures.

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