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REPORT: Growth Forecasted in Mining Equipment Market

The worldwide mining equipment market is forecast to expand 8.6 percent annually in the next three years to U.S. $135 billion, spurred by avid demand fo...

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|May 2|magazine9 min read

The worldwide mining equipment market is forecast to expand 8.6 percent annually in the next three years to U.S. $135 billion, spurred by avid demand for mined materials in China, India, and several other developing nations as industrial output increases. According to new study by GrandView Research, by 2020, the global market for mining equipment is expected to reach U.S. $147.69 billion.

Resource companies are looking to capitalize on new sales opportunities in industrializing and developing countries such as Brazil, China, and India, with China being the largest purchaser. Additionally, demand for machinery such as drilling and earth moving is expected to boost the need for shredders, loaders, and crushers in nations with large deposits of industrial materials, including Australia, Chile, Indonesia, and Peru.

The largest sales growth in the next few years will be in the Asia/Pacific market, which is being fueled by substantial investments in new mine production capacity in several nations. Strong gains will also be recorded in Central and South America, as mining companies look to develop the region's sizable deposits of bauxite, copper, and iron ore, according to a report from the Freedonia Group. The Africa/Mideast region will post the next strongest market advances, followed by Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and North America.

The demand for drills and breakers will continue to increase as will the need for crushing, pulverizing, and screening equipment, which is used in most mining operations. As the world mining output increases so will the strong sales advances for these products.

According to the GrandView Research study, surface mining equipment accounted for over 36 percent of the global market in 2013; and metal mining is expected to be the largest and fastest growing application market over the next six years. In addition, Asia/Pacific accounted for more than 59 percent of global mining equipment demand in 2013, and is expected to dominate the market through 2020.

Major mining equipment companies such as Caterpillar Inc., Komatsu Limited, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Sandvik , and Atlas Copco have the manufacturing and production line capacity, safety qualifications, innovation and technological development, and connections in the emerging markets to capitalize on the growing demand.

The emerging markets need reliable equipment, but are also demanding machinery that is less harmful to the environment and more energy efficient. The companies that provide hybrid technology and embrace sustainability practices will emerge as the leaders for supplying the growing markets.

For instance, Hitachi Construction Machinery has shifted production toward hybrid technology in the earthmoving equipment sector. The new Hitachi hybrid excavators use electric hybrid technology in conjunction with swing momentum to regenerate energy provides the ultimate platform to reducing fuel consumption.

At Caterpillar, the company has developed a hybrid underground mining vehicle that generates less air pollution when combined with proper ventilation. “In the next decade, the most successful companies will be those that integrate sustainability into their core businesses. That’s what we’re doing at Caterpillar, and we are helping our customers do the same,” Caterpillar said in a released statement.

Atlas Copco has introduced a range of electric underground loaders and electric underground trucks, with the company is calling the new “green line.” The new machines reduce emissions to a minimum and contribute to higher productivity.

“Electric power is the future,” said Erik Svedlund, product manager for underground electric loaders and trucks at Atlas Copco. “Environmental considerations are very important. Just by replacing a single diesel loader with an electrically powered loader reduces Co2 emissions equivalent to 140 cars a year. Our new electric vehicles are up to 70 percent more energy efficient than diesel options.”