Demand growing for automated mining equipment
The global mining equipment market size is anticipated to reach USD 284.93 billion by 2025
The market is projected to witness a CAGR of 11.7% over the forecast period. Introduction of new equipment based on automation technologies is expected to open new avenues for growth in the mining sector. High risk associated with mining operations has resulted in technological innovations in equipment manufacturing.
Companies including Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have deployed a fleet of driverless trucks and drills with GPS technology at their mining sites. Additionally, OEMs such as Caterpillar Inc. and Komatsu Ltd. are retrofitting their existing fleet of trucks and drills with automation technology and are anticipated to introduce an additional line of products over the coming years. Key companies are digitizing their technical equipment to improve the mining operations productivity and safety.
For instance, Anglo American Plc, a U.K. based miner, is using digital twins, a virtual model of a technical process, to optimize its haulage fleet to track exploration and drilling activities at its Los Bronces site in Chile. As the digital mine is inching towards practicality, the subsequent nature of work is anticipated to witness a significant change at both, the mining site and back office. This change can be attributed to the growing adoption of technologies, such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
These technological advances are projected to redesign the job roles of employees instead of eliminating jobs, thus allowing people to use technology while working. The mining equipment market is witnessing challenges in the exploration of metals and minerals due to depleting natural resources with the need for better production output. In these circumstances, equipment providers and mining companies have an added responsibility of improving production efficiency and reducing water and energy consumption per unit of production.
Despite the substantial contribution of the mining sector to the global economy, the industry’s growth remains somewhat skeptical in many countries due to the perception that the sector contributes to environmental damage. To rebuild this trust, key companies are taking efforts, such as complying with sustainability standards, complete environmental disclosure, and taking significant steps toward corporate social responsibility.