The global conveyor belt market in mining industry size in the mining industry was valued at USD 1.83 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 2.63 billion by 2031, registering a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
Conveyor belts are essential to the mining industry for moving minerals to processing facilities. As a result, the industry is investing more in conveyor belts since they improve productivity, safety, and efficiency. Conveyor belts will take the place of roads in the transfer between mines and trains, and Coal India Ltd. intends to invest INR 157 billion in them in June 2020. In the first stage, 35 mines at six firm subsidiaries with a combined capacity of at least four million tonnes per annum (MTPA) will have their infrastructure upgraded. With a total capacity of 406 MTPA, this required capital expenditures (Capex) of around Rs 12,300 crore. Four subsidiaries would invest Rs 3,400 crore in 14 projects in Phase 2 with a combined capacity of 100.5 MTPA. Drive technology significantly affects conveyor performance and system availability in the mining industry. Here, three-phase asynchronous motors with gear units have proven to be a reliable, fast-installing, low-maintenance option. Players with years of experience in bulk material conveyor technology include Siemens. Drive solutions for these applications have the advantages of high availability, tested technology, and low costs.
The growing urbanization and industrialization gave rise to various growth prospects across industries, mining being one. Such rapid developments give rise to infrastructural development projects across nations. The continuing modernization of public infrastructure is likely to be a primary source of support for growth in infrastructural development activities across the nations. The road to 2030 involves several goals that encourage several national projects that improve the country's infrastructure, transport, buildings, and digital transportation, further creating growth prospects for various industries globally.
In India, construction equipment forms around 7-8% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employs around 30 million people. It also accounts for more than 60% of the total infrastructural investment. The Government of India de-licensed the material handling equipment industry and allowed 100% FDI under the direct route. Such initiatives are expected to boost the mining industry's demand, thereby creating significant space for the adoption of conveyor belts to achieve operational efficiency. Conveyor belt also reduces the time consumption in transporting a product from one region to another. Due to intense competition within the industry, the conveyor belt acts as a significant source to enhance productivity. Due to increased mining activities or infrastructural development, the conveyor belt market will likely witness significant demand from the mining sector in the coming years.
A company's biggest asset is its people because production depends entirely on employee satisfaction. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on workplace safety, preventing any incident or accident. Workers in the mining industry are exposed to hazardous and extreme environments. Hence, the concern over worker safety in the industry increases. Another aspect that affects businesses is the proportion of workers who miss time at work because of accidents. Worker absences and medical costs raise business expenses, which has an impact on overall spending. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) estimates that businesses worldwide pay about $1 billion per week in compensation for workplace accidents. As a result, industries are primarily focused on the need to create safer working environments.
One of the critical solutions to address this problem is the automation of risker operations, as it significantly reduces the probability of injuries or incidents in the workplace. Automation also helps improve the efficiency of operations, thereby avoiding the need to work in dangerous workplaces. Conveyor belts act as a highly effective solution in the industry, owing to the efficiency it provides in transporting materials, eliminating the need for manual labor for transporting materials. Because efficiency and throughput must be maintained at necessary levels in the mining industry and workplace safety is becoming increasingly important, conveyor belt demand has increased. Conveyor belt solutions replace human labor while maintaining operational effectiveness without jeopardizing worker safety.
Conveyor belts are facing increased demand from the mining industry due to their conveying capacity, conveyor length, service life, and energy efficiency. High capital costs are the main obstacle preventing the widespread use of conveyor belts in the sector. In the first stage, it will modernize the infrastructure at 35 mines, each of which has a capacity of at least four million tons per year (MTPA) at six of the company's subsidiaries. This entails a total capacity of 406 MTPA and a capital expenditure (Capex) of about INR 123 billion. The phase-2 includes 14 projects, in which four subsidiaries will spend INR 34 billion for a total capacity of 100.5 MTPA. Such massive investments hinder the adoption of conveyor belts in small and medium-scale mining development projects. Also, the deployment of conveyor belts reduces the company's ability to switch to other substitutes, if any, due to the high amount of capital invested in procuring the solution. Hence, the obsolescence of the technology or any technological upgrade might lead the companies to face a challenge in upgrading the system. However, the risk associated with upgradation costs is relatively low due to lesser technological advancements in the conveyor belts.
The market is expected to witness a few innovations in the future, such as smarter motors and controllers on conveyors of all types. As manufacturing companies can offer conveyors with a motor and controller built into a single module, control communications that work with specific factory communication systems can also be offered. Similarly, future conveyors with defined yet flexible purposes and compact footprints (for new industrial designs) can also be expected. In recent years, there have been many advancements in conveyor designs, thereby allowing them to take up lesser space; these developments seem to continue. For example, Pheonix's Phoenocord St 10000 is an impressive conveyor belt. The advantages of such technologies will reduce the cost of additional drives, pulleys, and other auxiliary equipment, while extending the cover wear and, ultimately, the belt life and availability.
In the same way, ContiTech, a division of Continental Corporation, is integrating electronic components to generate solutions for the future. The company is also known for its expertise in developing materials for components made of natural rubber and plastics. Conveyor belts can be planned with smarter designs. For instance, Intralox's AIM belts and conveyor technology are explicitly designed to be used in food processing plants' primary packaging areas. AIM belts and conveyors allow for merging, switching, and single- and multi-zone sorting via a single conveyor.
The global conveyor belt market in the mining industry is segmented by type and region.
By type, the global conveyor belt market in the mining industry is segmented into steel cord, textile reinforced, and other types. The steel cord segment dominated the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period. A conveyor belt is a crucial component of the conveyor system that is continuously used in facilities for transport in industries like mining, coal, ports, electric power, the chemical industry, metallurgy, architecture, and food. Their strength significantly influences the carrying capacity and operational safety of conveyor belts in the mining industry. Steel cords are therefore arranged inside the rubber to strengthen the conveyor belt. Due to a decline in the strength of the splice, the weakest part of the conveyor belt, there have been an increasing number of accidents where the belt has broken. This prompted the creation of detection tools that operate in various ways. For example, German Phoenix Conveyor Belt System Co. Ltd used X-ray detection technology to design a steel cord conveyor belt detection system. It is a non-destructive testing system for steel cord conveyors that can detect splice twitch and steel cord breakage with accuracy and dependability. The transportation of raw materials is one of the technological processes in the mining industry that uses a significant amount of energy and contributes significantly to the overall cost of mining. A mining company can save the most money by using an energy-efficient conveyor belt, reducing CO2 emissions.
By region, the global conveyor belt market in the mining industry is segmented into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.
North America has occupied the largest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.1% during the forecast period. Due to the continued use of conveyor belts in the mining industry, North America is a significant market. Conveyor belt demand is directly related to the country's inherent need for mining. According to USGS estimates, the value of non-fuel minerals produced at US mines in 2019 was USD 86.3 billion. Coal mining accounted for 24% of US mining operations' total production value and 26% of the industry's labor force in 2019. The mining sector in theUS has benefited from government support in the form of executive orders, such as those for developing critical minerals or regulatory changes. Despite this, the requirement for permits continues to impede the growth of mining projects in the United States. Canada is the most active mining sector in the world. According to the Mining Association of Canada, Canada is among the top five producers of 13 significant minerals and metals, including uranium, cobalt, aluminum, diamonds, titanium, nickel, potash, and gold. Given that the United States heavily relies on Canada for most of the commodities it imports, it is anticipated that Canadian mines will grow relatively faster. Because of the high demand for base and precious metals, exploration and growth in the mining sector are rising in Canada.
Asia-Pacific is the second largest region. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 700 million by 2031, registering a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period. Owing to its unique geographical conditions, the Asia-Pacific region has traditionally been rich in mineral resources, such as petroleum, coal, manganese, iron, tungsten, tin, copper, antimony, lead, zinc, gold, aluminum, silver, mica, and precious stones, among others. Mining is an essential industry in the region, with China, India, and Australia being some of the prominent nations where this activity is vital to their economic position. With the development of this industry, to meet the increasing demand from the other end-user industrial sectors that rely on it for raw materials, the demand for conveyor belts is expected to increase over the upcoming period.
Europe is the third largest region. Europe has been a prominent player in the market with vendors such as Glencore, BHP, Rio Tinto, ContiTech AG (Continental Corporation), Tenova SpA, Phoenix Conveyor Belt Systems GmbH, and GKD Gebr. Kufferath AG is headquartered in the region. Even though the mining industry in the region accounts for a small GDP share, it has been a part of a large and significant share of worldwide production. Although the mining industry faces declining profit margins, several countries have invested in lignite mining to address low-carbon energy production. According to Eurostat, the hard coal consumption of the EU in 2019 reached 176 million metric tons. In line with the dynamic demand from the mining industry, vendors are following various strategies, such as new collaborations and new product development, to address the rising competition in the market. For instance, in September 2020, Tenova SpA and Microsoft strengthened their partnership for Industry 4.0 by leveraging Microsoft's platform Azure and the innovative solutions of Tenova for the steel sector. The companies aim to lead the industry's digital transformation, employing more than 6 million people worldwide.
The major companies in the global conveyor belt market in mining industry are
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