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Latin America, Africa to redefine global mining

Technavio, global technology research and advisory company says the mining industry is expected to witness gradual growth during 2017 to 2021.

The company attributes the development to increase in demand from minerals and metals, mostly from emerging economies.

Researchers at Technavio believes that the untapped markets such as Latin America and Africa will drive new market potentials for personal protective equipment market for the mining industry.

The think tanks cite Congo, Zambia, Brazil, Peru, and Chile, as potential countries to trigger the recovery of the global mining industry.

“The demand for precious metals such as silver, platinum, and gold is on the rise. Apart from minerals and metals, the rise in thermal power generation catering to the growing demand for electricity has enhanced the coal demand,” said Neelesh Prakash Singh, a lead analyst from Technavio.

“All these activities will generate more demand for mining operations that require an increase in the number of miners, thereby gradually increasing the demand for personal protective equipment for the mining industry,” Singh added.

Technavio further said that the top three emerging trends to drive the global personal protective equipment market for mining industry are automation in mining industry, increasing participation of women in mining industry and increasing profit margins for miners with increasing focus on portfolio management.

The researchers said mining industry is pushing the boundaries of automation with a gradual increase in the use of remote-controlled equipment and robots.

Singh said companies that are expanding their operations with the use of automation in mining are focusing on efficient mineral extraction and better safety on commencing it.

The adoption trend of robots and remote-controlled equipment is likely to change and impact the employment landscape of the mining industry in the years to come.

“The key users of these technologies are the bigger players that have strong R&D budgets to move toward the early adoption of this innovation.

Automation in mining is expected to witness a substantial approach by almost all the mining companies in the next ten years, where it will be very normal for companies to enhance their productivity and offer better safety using remote-controlled machinery,” said Singh.

Singh said increasing participation of women in mining industry is now becoming gender neutral in many operational areas, from professional to trade areas of work.

“Though being a male sector conventionally, it is experiencing radical changes with time.”

Singh highlighted that many industrial sectors in Australia that also involve the mining sector are witnessing increased female participation.

“Also, several companies are focusing on more innovative retention strategies to enhance the growing support and talent of young women serving in industrial sectors.”

The global mining industry has about 18% of jobs where women are employed. The mining sector in Australia is experiencing a rise in women participation owing to a shortage of skilled laborers in the sector.

The major challenges that restrict women from exploring various roles in the mining industry are the long shifts, remote working environments, and hard laboring.

Meanwhile the demand for industrial metals at the global level is strong in the current scenario, particularly in Asia.  This scenario is expected to become a trend in the coming decade.

The strong demand for industrial metals is owing to the following reasons.

By 2021, supplies of zinc and copper will be on pace to enter the greenfield development phase.

Technavio says industrial metal prices are expected to hike by 15% by the end of 2017 due to their strong demand from developing economies such as China and supply constraints that includes disruption in mines of Chile, Peru, and Indonesia.

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