The global mining chemicals market size is estimated at USD 10,145 million in 2021 and is to reach USD 16,850 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 6% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
Mining chemicals are highly corrosive and expensive substances commonly utilized in mineral processing. They require precision metering to achieve optimal sound recovery rates, froth and bubble size, and depression specificity. They help with infiltration and dewatering, increasing grade and recovery, improving capacity, sorting minerals, handling pumps and slurry, and decreasing collector dose and expense per ton. Mining chemicals regularly used include frothers and collectors, flocculants, solvent extractants, rheology modifiers, and wet- and dry-grinding aids.
Mining chemicals play a significant role in the processing of mineral ores. The consumption of base metals (such as iron, steel, and aluminum) and precious metals (such as silver, gold, and platinum) increased steadily due to their various applications in various industries. The metal mining processes require mining chemicals while processing the respective ores. With the rise in the consumption of these metals, mining activities for these metals have surged globally,
The global mining chemicals market is divided by function, application, and region.
Canada is a worldwide leader in mining operations and ranks among the top five countries in the global production of 14 primary metals and minerals. In 2019, Canada witnessed a modest increase in the value of mining projects planned and under construction from 2019 to 2029, by USD 8 billion year-over-year. Ontario led mining activities in the country. Additionally, as of March 31, 2019, Ontario had around 252,876 active mining sites. More than 200 mineral exploration projects are currently underway in Ontario.
Several significant mining corporations are looking for exposure in Canada, and several sophisticated systems with feasibility studies are being conducted in the country for capital growth. Furthermore, the Canadian Government is launching several initiatives to entice additional investors to explore the country's undeveloped mineral riches. Additionally, the Canadian federal-provincial and territorial governments unveiled the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan (CMMP), a strategic initiative for the Canadian mining industry to maintain its position as a global mining leader, which is driving the market for mining chemicals.
Specialty chemicals are deployed in almost all the steps of the mining process. Mining is a very complex process, and these chemicals are used to simplify it. The mining sector has seen adjustments in production techniques, from tunneling to open-pit mining, allowing it to mine ores of diminishing grades while lowering total costs. Furthermore, specialty chemicals are used in later phases of the production chain, such as smelting, refining, manufacturing, and commodities trading.
Moreover, mining activities are increasing in the rapidly growing regions, such as China, Africa, and Latin America, and the governments are taking initiatives to increase mining activities in their respective countries. This is expected to augment the usage of mining chemicals during the forecast period. Thus, the increasing use of specialty chemicals in the mining processes is expected to drive the global market during the forecast period.
The global market is quite competitive. Therefore, product pricing is exceptionally crucial. Logistics plays a significant role in detecting the prices of mining chemicals. Logistics costs mainly account for around 20% or more of the overall cost of any mining chemical. In addition, the overseas shipment cost is always high in almost all the countries across the world, which affects the market negatively. Manufacturers or suppliers must constantly evaluate the logistic cost and transportation possibilities, which are likely to provide the best economies of scale, provide the best quality products, and on-time delivery to the clients or customers.
The logistic cost is high for supplying mining chemicals to remote and undeveloped regions. Moreover, at times, it isn't easy to ship a few mining chemicals via sea, which, in turn, increases the logistics cost. The logistics cost differs in different countries based on the availability of transportation facilities, which affects the price. Thus, the high logistics cost for mining chemicals acts as a restraint in the market studied.
Africa has one of the largest mineral reserves globally, which is the most attractive investment opportunity globally. Many deposits of uranium, gold, platinum, coal, copper, diamond, iron ore, etc., attract new investors. Regional governments have taken initiatives, such as formulating attractive FDI policy, ease in regulatory guidelines, and revised international trade and investment framework, which encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) in mining in the region. Gold production is increasing consistently and is forecast to continue its growth during the forecast period, owing to slightly higher prices. Also, more robust company financials are encouraging more mine investment. South Africa became Africa's second-largest gold producer, losing its position from first due to stubbornly high costs, regular strikes, and the geological challenges of tapping the world's deepest mines.
AngloGold Ashanti Limited reopened its Obuasi gold mines. The company has a capital investment of USD 495 million - USD 545 million in the Obuasi mines. This mine will include more than 400,000 ounces of Ghana's gold output. Such an increase in production is expected to provide opportunities for mining chemicals over the forecast period.
The global mining chemicals market share is divided by function, application, and region.
By function, global mining chemicals market has divided into flotation chemicals, extraction chemicals, and grinding aids. The grinding aids for the largest share of about 46% of the market was valued was 548-kilo tons in 2021 and is expected to be 760-kilo metric tons in 2030, registering a CAGR of 4%. Grinding aids play a crucial role in optimizing the processing cost of the mineral ore. Grinding aids are used in grinding operations to increase efficiency and help in reducing particle size and viscosity, and decrease the consumption of water and energy required per operation. Other advantages of grinding aids include enhancement of ore throughput and a decrease in maintenance. One example of grinding aid includes bauxite-grinding aids. These improve the rheological properties of bauxite slurry by decreasing viscosity during the process, thus, resulting in less energy consumption. The rising awareness among the mining companies to process more metal with less capital is likely to propel the demand for grinding aids worldwide during the forecast period.
By application, global mining chemicals market is divided into mineral processing and wastewater treatment. The mineral processing segment accounted for the largest share of about 96% of the market. The wastewater treatment segment is predicted to have the fastest growth by volume during the forecast period. The market size for the mineral processing segment was 1,144-kilo metric tons in 2021, and it is expected to reach 1633 kilotons by 2030 at a CAGR of 4%. Mining chemicals assist the mining and mineral processing sector in attaining maximum efficiency through improved selectivity and higher recovery while providing environmental benefits. With the growing mining and processing activities worldwide, the consumption of mining chemicals has also been increasing simultaneously.
As the world moves into lockdown to halt the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, the uncertainty and constraints are hindering markets. Countries such as China, Italy, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, among others, are the most affected. Thus, this may impact the global mining industry.
The ongoing spread and different responses to the COVID-19 are predicted to delay the existing mining projects. COVID-19's effect on the mining sector may take an extended period. For example, in Italy, one of the worst affected countries outside of China, the national lockdown has delayed various ongoing mining projects in-country. Alta Zinc suspended the manufacture of its flagship project, the Orno Mine Project, in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy.
Due to COVID-19-related regulations, major mining companies such as Rio Tinto and Anglo American, among others, have declared plans to scale back or close their operations. Following Mongolian government limitations, Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia ceased non-essential operations. Due to the Peruvian Government's proclamation of a 15-day quarantine to restrict the spread of COVID-19, Anglo American is temporarily demobilizing the majority of its extensive construction team at its Qullaveco copper mine in Peru. Hence, due to the lockdown in various countries, the consumption of mining chemicals is expected to decrease during 2020, which is likely to impact the market studied.
By geography, the market studied has been segmented into the following regions, namely Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle East & Africa.
Asia-Pacific dominated the market studied, with about 54% share, in terms of volume. The mining chemicals market size in Asia-Pacific was 682-kilo tons in 2021 and is expected to be 962-kilo metric tons in 2030, registering a CAGR of 4% during the forecast period. China is the largest consumer of mining chemicals in the Asia-Pacific region (54.62%) and globally (29.25%). China has the most excellent economy in terms of GDP. The country was expected to have witnessed about 6.1% growth in its GDP during 2019, even after the trade disturbance caused due to its trade war with the United States. The IMF projects an increase of 5.8% in 2020. In terms of GDP in PPP, China is the largest economy, with a GDP (PPP) of USD 25.27 trillion. Furthermore, the outbreak of COVID-19 has further affected the economy at present. However, the country is predicted to grow from such fluctuations in economic performance over the forecast period.
North America is the fastest-growing market and was valued was 154-kilo tons in 2021 and is expected to be 208-kilo metric tons in 2030, registering a CAGR of 3% during the forecast period. The production of certain industrial minerals increased, owing to the growth in construction activities of the country. It also led to a rise in the prices of such industrial minerals. Besides, the consumption of minerals widely used in infrastructure, residential construction, and oil and gas drilling operations witnessed a significant increase in the country. Hence, all such trends in the mining industry are projected to drive the consumption of mining chemicals in the country over the forecast period.
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