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Underground mining equipment refers to the equipment including loaders, trucks, and diggers to perform underground operations in the mining industry. Underground mining is utilized by mining firms to extract minerals and ores. This equipment is specially designed for applications such as longwall mining, borehole mining, and others. The high degree of volume production mitigates the expense of initial investment in underground mining that making the underground mining process a cost-efficient strategy.
The emergence of underground mining equipment is attributed to its robust manufacturing and high impact force that makes it effective equipment in underground operations. Moreover, it does not incur heavy damages to the environmental surface of the mining area and it does not need to blast the underground area with explosives.
The manufacturers are focusing on technological advancements including, GPS sensing, Internet of Things (IoT), 3D imagery in underground mining equipment to observe real-time monitoring and collecting underground data of large mines having lesser accessibility. For instance, in March 2020, Sandvik AB introduced an ‘Intelligent Automine system’ for unmanned truck haulage that reduces equipment damage and emphasizes higher efficiency to underground mine operations. Moreover, manufacturers are turning to hybrid and battery driven-electric underground mining equipment to capture the global market. Furthermore, the companies are obeying my Safe and Health Administration’s (MSHA) Regulations to carry out underground mining operations in coal, mineral, and metal mines.
The underground mining equipment market is anticipated to witness substantial growth, owing to the accelerated demand from several industries in developing economies such as India, Malaysia, Turkey, Vietnam, Brazil, and others. Additionally, the increased rental services in the mining industry are also driving the market growth.
Key Market Driver -
• Accelerated growth in renting the underground mining equipment • Increasing utilization of electric equipment for underground mining operations
Key Market Restraint -
• Decreased foreign mining investment in underdeveloped countries
Considering all these factors, the global underground mining equipment market is expected to observe bolstering growth in the forecast period. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the underground mining industry. In the U.S. and the rest of the world, the underground mining processes have stopped, owing to the unavailability of equipment operators. Moreover, metal and ore quarries and processing units have stopped production as the shutdown has broken the transportation processes. As per industry research, in 2019, the capital expenditure for the world’s 20 largest mining companies grew by nearly 11%. But, the mining industry is experiencing delays in project work and investments in the year 2020, owing to the sudden COVID-19 outbreaks.
Key players operating in the global underground mining equipment market are AB Volvo, Komatsu Ltd., Caterpillar, Atlas Copco AB, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co, Ltd., Boart Longyear, AARD Mining Equipment, ZHENGZHOU COAL MINING MACHINERY (GROUP) CO., LTD, Epiroc South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd., Sandvik AB and others.
Asia Pacific is in the best position to lead the market, owing to the growth of construction and mining industries across India, China, and other countries. Underground mining equipment are gaining maximum importance ascribed to the rise in demand for infrastructural development across countries such as India, China, Malaysia, and others. Moreover factors including, heavy investments in construction activities and increasing usage of coal for electricity generation are also fuelling the market growth.
Europe is anticipated to witness substantial growth, owing to the strong presence of key manufacturers including Atlas Copco AB, AB Volvo, Sandvik AB, and others. Moreover, these players are focusing on mergers and acquisitions to remain competitive in the global market. For instance, in June 2017, Atlas Copco AB acquired 34% shares of ‘Mobilaris MCE AB’. Mobilaris MCE AB provides advanced software solutions to optimize underground mining operations with increased safety.
North America is expected to witness steady growth, owing to the continuous technological development by the key manufacturers including, Boart Longyear, Caterpillar, and others operating in this region. For instance, in May 2019, Caterpillar introduced R2900, an underground loader with enhanced cooling options, expanded emission control options, and ease of service.
Middle East and Africa and Latin America are expected to witness substantial growth with the effect of increased investment for infrastructural projects across Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and GCC countries. Moreover, the presence of several players is boosting the product penetration in aforesaid countries. For instance, in January 2020, Caterpillar and its dealer in South Africa, Barloworld Equipment displayed electric-powered underground mining equipment in South Africa to carry out cost-efficient underground operations.
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