The global mining automation market size is expected to reach USD 6.2 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period, according to the report "Mining Automation Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Solution (Software Automation, Services, Equipment Automation), By Application (Metal, Coal, Mineral), And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025" by Grand View Research, Inc. Increasing need to enhance accuracy and productivity of mining operations is expected to drive market growth.
Need for optimizing production costs, reducing human intervention, and changing the mining landscape are key growth-driving factors for the market.Increasing investment in digital technologies, including analytics and human-machine interactions, is also expected to be one of the key factors boosting industry growth.
Furthermore, complex stages involved in supply chain activities and growing sophistication in mining operations are driving the need for automation and robotics technology in this sector.
Growing automation has led to adoption of drones as a step toward the evolution of unmanned and aerial data collection technology in mines. Automated drone systems are expected to become an essential technology in future mining automation and digitization activities.
Several companies such as Tata Steel, Rio Tinto Group, and Komatsu Ltd. are the early adopters of drone technology. Usage of these systems enables quick data collection by enhancing accuracy in designing mine plans and making necessary changes, thereby boosting operational productivity.
Changing mining landscape across the globe along with dependence on specific technologies is expected to create growth opportunities over the next few years. Such changes in operations are challenging the viability of traditional exploration and drilling technologies and processes, thereby providing opportunities for the adoption of new technologies.
Rising need for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in mineral exploration activities has boosted market growth. GIS enables professionals to perform in-depth analysis of insights related to mineral exploration, mining conditions, and geochemical or hydrological data.
Several economies including India, Africa, and Brazil lack the potential for growth owing to use of conventional exploration techniques and equipment. Increased need for exploration in these economies with the adoption of advanced technologies is expected to accelerate demand for automated solutions over the forecast period.
Rising investments and government support, along with ongoing initiatives such as Digital Transformation Initiative (DFT) for a digital transition in the mining sector, would significantly boost the adoption of automated solutions. For instance, in 2017, the Government of Australia announced its plans to invest approximately USD 79 million to encourage medium- and small-sized miners to carry out exploration activities.
Further key findings from the report suggest:
- The equipment automation segment is projected to expand at a CAGR of 7.5% over the forecast period. Retrofitting existing equipment with automated technology is expected to substantially contribute to segment growth
- The autonomous trucks sub-segment is expected to dominate the equipment automation segment over the forecast period, on account of their increased deployment to boost productivity and safety
- The metal mining application segment is expected to grow at a significant rate over the forecast period, which can be attributed to increased gold exploration activities globally
- The revenue share of Asia Pacific is expected to surpass 40.0% by 2025, owing to growing penetration of automation solutions in economies including Australia and India
- Prominent market players include Rockwell Automation, Inc.; Komatsu Ltd.; Rio Tinto Group; and Caterpillar Inc.
- Increased investments in developing automated solutions by either launching new products or retrofitting existing equipment are some of the growth strategies adopted by key players.