A report issued recently by ReportLinker predicted worldwide growth in demand for mining equipment, especially in the developing world.

The report predicted that global demand for mining equipment will increase more than 7 percent annually to $140 billion in 2019. Growth will be slower than the 2009-2014 period, but increases in commodity prices will contribute to gains in mining equipment demand. Mining equipment sales are also expected to grow due to increases in manufacturing output, particularly in the developing world, and increased strength in the construction industry.

Sales of drills and breakers are expected to increase at the fastest rate. This equipment is used in all types of mining operations, especially during the exploration phase. This equipment is also used in in situ mining techniques. Growth in this sector will boost demand.

The second-highest gains will be in crushing, pulverizing, and screening equipment and surface mining machinery. Demand for underground mining equipment will grow at the slowest rate. A significant portion of the deceleration will be in China, where much of the drive toward mechanization has been completed and future sales opportunities will be limited.

The fastest gains in demand for mining equipment will be in the developing world, where many countries have large metals and coal mining industries that require significant capital investment. The Asia/Pacific region and Central and South America have large metals mining industries, and Eastern Europe and the Africa/Mideast region produce significant amounts of coal.

Developing countries are the most intensive users of mining equipment when compared to mining output because of the amounts of capital spent on metals and coal mining. China tripled in size from 2009 to 2014 and is projected to remain the largest market for mining equipment in 2019. The growth has been due to rapid gains in manufacturing output and construction and steps taken by the government to mechanize mines.

India will remain a much smaller market. However, it is projected to experience the fastest gains of any country in the world through 2019 because there is still a significant need for mechanization in mines. India will be among the strongest in the world in terms of mining output growth.

Developed countries in Western Europe and North America will have more moderate growth in the period through 2019. Demand for mining equipment in Western Europe will increase from its 2009-2014 levels. Most mining in those countries is for aggregates, which requires less capital spending than metal or coal mining. Coal consumption and mining are declining in many industrialized countries due to regulations encouraging the use of other energy sources.