GE and Komatsu join forces, developing next wave of underground mining equipment

Komatsu is making its way underground as it joins forces with GE Transportation to develop a range of next generation mining equipment.

Signing a joint venture agreement, the two companies are set to pool resources in an effort to develop new technologies for underground mines.

It comes as the mining industry sees a greater trend towards underground development as higher grade ores closer to the surface become increasingly depleted and existing resources become less cost effective to process.

The new company, Komatsu GE Mining Systems will be based in Erie, Pennsylvania and will launch operations in April.

Each parent company will hold a 50 per cent stake in the new venture.

Komatsu and GE Transportation have previously collaborated in the development of open pit mining dump trucks.

GE said it will bring its electric power and drive system experience to the table, while Komatsu will specialise in ICT technologies.

Discussing the company’s December quarter results, General Electric chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt told investors the company’s transportation arm is being impacted by a weak mining market.

He said the company expects the mining market to remain soft over the next year.

GE CFO Jeff Bornstein said mining orders have fallen 60 per cent in the three months to December.


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