Demand for mining equipment is predicted to grow seven per cent annually to US$140 billion through to 2019.
While growth slows as it normalises from the heights of the mining boom, an eventual upswing in commodity prices is expected to drive increases by 2019, fuelling mining equipment demand, according to a Freedonia report.
Off the back of this a growth in manufacturing output is expected, particularly in the developing world, whilst a growth in construction levels in the developing world is forecast to bolster this increase in mining equipment demand.
The largest growth area is expected to be drills and breaking equipment.
“These units are used almost universally across all mining operations, especially during the exploration phase of a project; additionally, the growing use of in situ mining techniques, where these products are a primary type of equipment employed, will boost demand,” the report stated.
Crushing and screening equipment is predicted to see the second largest increase in demand, followed by surface mining machinery.
“However underground mining equipment demand will grow at the slowest rate of any major product type, with much of the deceleration occurring in China,” Freedonia explained.
“Over the past decade China has invested heavily in underground mining equipment to improve the safety and productivity of its coal mining operations. However, much of this mechanisation drive has been finished, limiting future sales opportunities.”
Although, China will remain the largest market for mining equipment sales in 2019.
Despite this wider predicted growth, Australia is unlikely to reap many of the benefits, with much of the demand forecast to come from the developing world.
“Many developing countries have significant metals and coal mining industries that require substantial levels of capital investment,” the report said.
“Developing nations are also the most intensive users of mining equipment, when measured against mining output, due to the level of capital spending required in metals and coal mining operations.”
More restrained levels of growth are forecast from developed nations, although there will be a jump in demand in Western Europe as construction rebounds.
Overall, coal consumption and associated mining output is falling in many industrialised countries, as regulatory mandates lead to greater use of other energy sources, negating much of the demand for larger pieces of capital equipment.