Mining Equipment Industry Focuses on Efficiency
November 1, 2013
With a global economic recession lingering and a depletion of easily accessible resources, mining equipment companies and distributors are forced to be more efficient to survive. According to analyst group IBISWorld, American mining equipment manufacturers and their supply chains have slipped due to a weak economy, constrained credit, lower commodity prices and competition from abroad.
However, the group expects a major rebound in the next five years as energy and mineral exploration and production heighten to meet growing worldwide demand. The group projects industry revenue will increase at an annual rate of 2.7 percent and total $30.8 billion by 2018. The area where demand is rising the fastest is South America and Asia. Base mineral prices are projected to rise and spark the reopening of idle mines, particularly those for nickel and aluminum.
Mining is undergoing a major shift as easy-to-reach surface reserves are becoming depleted and remaining deposits are harder to get to. Many mining companies are turning to solutions that collect data and generate intelligence to help them make better mining decisions that will yield more resources for their efforts. Simply drilling for the sake of drilling is no longer an option and miners have to pinpoint exactly where minerals are sure to be found to get the funding they need to proceed.
Automation is expected to be critical in boosting efficiency and more mining operations are going to have to operate under strict environmental regulations that have been put in place over the past few years. Operations are now under pressure to do away with, or use less of, materials including mercury and cyanide that were traditionally used in the recovery of some metals.
The mining equipment companies that focus on green mining technology, automated equipment and efficiency are likely to emerge as the winners for future mining projects.