Automation – Digitalisation – MissionZero-Innovations
Corona notwithstanding, global demand for machinery continues unabated. Asia, especially China, and also many other countries are taking growth paths. Government stimulus packages, e.g. in China or the USA, with investments in infrastructure and decarbonisation are providing further impetus. For many raw materials, such as metals, plastics or coal, the rapid increase in demand can hardly be met. As a result, many commodity prices are reaching new highs. In this environment, global mining companies have earned magnificently. Most money was made in copper, iron ore, coal and gold.
This makes now a good time for mining suppliers to present new solutions for the extraction and processing of raw materials. What is most sought after are offers for further automation, digitalisation and “MissionZero” innovations. In the Asia-Pacific region, China in particular is pushing “intelligent mining” and investing in automation, digitalisation and smart mining. In the long term, there is much to suggest that global commodity production will be strongly concentrated in Asia - but distributed across several countries rather than almost exclusively in China. Thus, the corresponding demand is also growing in other regions.
In Australia, for example, iron ore and gold miners are benefiting from the high demand and investing in further expansion. Critical minerals, for example for the generating of renewable energy, are also being increasingly mined. Australian mining companies are expected to increase iron ore production to over 1 billion tonnes in the next few years. Gold production is expected to peak at 388 tonnes in 2020/21. The miners are also launching numerous projects for critical raw materials such as lithium, nickel or rare earths elements.
In this environment, German manufacturers will probably be able to continue the good course of business with customers from the Asia-Pacific region. By May 2021, exports to this region had increased by 5.6%. Important for export success is also likely to be the work on the technology and data standards needed for digitalisation. VDMA Mining is working with national and international partners within the OPC UA Working Group Mining on the corresponding Companion Specification Mining.
Deputy Managing Director of VDMA Mining