Caterpillar Closes More Equipment Facilities

November 8, 2013


Even with analysts predicting an increase in mining operations worldwide, Caterpillar Inc., one of the largest manufacturers of mining equipment is closing another facility, this one in Beckley, WV. Last week Caterpillar announced plans to close a former Bucyrus International Inc. mining equipment facility in Kilgore, TX. The closing in Beckley will result in the layoff or 40 workers while the mining equipment production work will move to a more stable plant in Houston, PA.


As the weak economy, credit restrictions and environmental concerns continue to hamper mining operations around the world, many mining equipment companies are being forced to downsize in order to stay in business. Caterpillar has recently shut down or said it will close facilities in Toronto, Summerville, Owatonna and Sudbury.


Concern is growing that the demand for mining equipment is weakening not just because of the slowdown in mining operations but also because companies are being pressured to run more efficient operations. No longer are miners being giving leeway in drilling and exploration and with the need shifting to high tech data analysis and intelligence there is less need for surplus mining equipment that could have been used in the past.


Caterpillar is consolidating its production and workforce in order to avoid losses but analysts predict that the focus on future mining operations will be more related to data gathering and pinpointing exactly where resources and minerals are before any drilling is done.