underground mining automation market to hold the largest share between 2017 and 2023

The mining automation market is expected to grow from USD 2.22 Billion in 2017 to reach USD 3.29 Billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 6.77% between 2017 and 2023. The base year considered for the study is 2016, and the forecast period is between 2017 and 2023.

The adoption of mining automation in various mineral ore sites has increased the number of strategic partnerships between mining automation equipment vendors and other communication systems providers. For instance, Australia is the member economy of Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) that receives a large proportion of its income from mining. In June 2016, BHP Billiton Ltd. (Australia), a leading mining company, awarded a contract to Atlas Copco AB (Sweden) for autonomous upgrade packages for 18 drill rigs. The automation of drill rigs has helped BHP Billiton to significantly increase the safety of its personnel at the mine sites and increase the productivity and efficiency of their mining operations in Pilbara, Australia.

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The mining automation ecosystem comprises system integrators, software providers, equipment providers, communications systems, and distributors. The players involved in the development of mining automation include Atlas Copco (Sweden), Caterpillar (US), Hexagon (Sweden), Komatsu (Japan), Sandvik (Sweden), Autonomous Solutions Inc. (US), Hitachi (Japan), RPMGlobal Australia), Trimble (US), Fluidmesh Metworks (US), Mine Site Technologies (Australia), and Symboticware (Canada).

The underground mining technique held the largest share of the mining automation market in 2016 owing to the major minerals found under the earth’s crust, which are explored, collected, and later on processed. Since working in underground mines is considered extremely hazardous, the need for advanced automated mining equipment is more for underground mining techniques. To safeguard mine workers, automated systems have been deployed at a huge rate in underground mines, which enables the market growth at a substantial rate.

The autonomous haulage mining process segment accounted for the largest market size in 2016. Hauling of ore from the mining pit to the dumping point is one of the most important and capital-intensive activities in mining operations. A continuous and efficient hauling cycle is necessary for the overall productivity of mining companies. Advantages such as the improved safety and productivity, the reduced maintenance cost, the efficient fuel consumption, the increased tire life, and the lesser downtime are achieved by automating the haulage processes inside a mine. The increasing implementation of digitized and integrated technologies such as GPS, advanced software, wireless communications, and electronic controls have made autonomous hauling highly competent.

Asia Pacific has immense natural reserves distributed among the countries throughout the region. APAC is estimated to become the largest market for mining equipment and implementation of mining automation technologies globally. The reason for this trend is the increased use of automated mining equipment by leading exploration and mining companies such as Rio Tinto, FMG Group, and BHP Billiton. These mining companies have started using automated mining equipment in their mine sites in the Western region of Australia. Moreover, the increasing digitization of mines and globalization of economies have attracted significant investments from the mining companies all over the world.

The major restraint for the mining automation market is the depletion of natural resources. The overexploitation of natural resources has resulted into exaction of lower ore grade. Moreover, the decreasing volume of resources has raised serious concerns among mining companies.

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