The Metal Mining Equipment Market Is Growing Fast — Here’s Why That’s a Good Thing

In Dust Control, EK35®, Mine & Quarry, Soil Stabilization by Jim Silva

The metal mining equipment industry is seeing boom times thanks in large part to increasing investment in both automation technologies and worker health and safety.

A recent growth analysis report from Global Market Insights indicates that the metal mining equipment market, which encompasses everything from traditional drills and breakers to sophisticated Internet of Things (IoT) and automation equipment, is set to surpass $95 billion by 2024.

Greater awareness of worker health and safety are driving interest in technologies like drones and machine learning that minimize the role played by human workers in the more risky aspects of metal mining. At the same time, declining ore grades are pushing mining companies to cut overhead costs and optimize their operations, leading to big investments in Internet of Things infrastructure and analytics technology.

There are several trends behind this influx of growth that, taken together, illustrate an exciting, high-tech future for mining that is developing before our eyes.

Demand for Metals on the Rise

One significant trend that’s driving skyrocketing growth for the metal mining equipment market is a heightened demand for metals like steel and aluminum in the construction and manufacturing industries. Countries like Germany and France are ramping up their production of automobiles, which is in turn causing an uptick in market appetite for metal extraction processes around the world.

Another key factor driving demand for metals is rapid urbanization in developing economies like India and China. Because of these nations’ huge populations, development of urban infrastructure is expected to create huge and sustained interest in metal for years into the future. Throughout the forecast period, APAC is expected to remain the biggest and most important market for metals.

Equipment Takes Center Stage

This sharp increase in demand for metals has coincided with significant changes in the mining industry. For one thing, degrading ore grades have increased the production costs for mining companies. High-tech mining equipment like IoT sensors allows these companies to pinpoint and eliminate the smallest inefficiencies throughout their supply chain, keeping margins up as they struggle to pull more value from the metal they’re able to excavate.

Much of the new equipment that’s attracting investment within the industry is dedicated to automation, another technological development helping to keep down operational costs. In some cases, automation enables machines to do work that had previously only been possible for humans to accomplish. For example, some companies are using unmanned drones to perform exploration of a potential mining site’s reserves. In others, they’re being used to do work more accurately than humans, like the work of reading slope angles.

Protecting New Investments

As mining equipment becomes more crucial to the success of the metal mining industry in general, it’s vitally important that businesses in the sector are able to take good care of their investments. One huge danger posed to mining equipment today comes from poorly maintained access and haul roads. Without proper treatment, these roads quickly fall prey to potholing and rutting, which can damage vehicles and heavy machinery that passes by and even potentially injure the workers using them.

With over 40 years of experience helping companies in the mining industry take care of the roads they rely on every day to transport equipment, Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. is the partner metal miners need during this critical time. Our Synthetic Organic Dust Control products like EK35® are proven to preserve and even improve the strength of mine haul and access roads over time, as well as suppress the airborne dust that can impact the health of both workers and equipment.

Metal mining equipment has never been more important to your bottom line — let us at Midwest help you protect it with quality dust control that keeps your roads strong and your equipment safe.

Jim is Midwest’s Business Unit Manager for Global Mining. He is experienced in operations management, asset management, and business improvement.