Mining is a process of obtaining resources that are of economic value from the earth's crust. It mainly consists of iron and ferroalloys, nonferrous metals, industrial metals, and mineral fuels. Infrastructure growth is growing at a burgeoning pace, which has led to an increase in commodities, such as coal, iron ore, and various industrial metals. The mining industry employs hundreds of excavators, dump trucks, draglines, and shuttle cars, among other machines. The industry uses tower cranes for its travel equipment. Mining provides essential power and materials for almost every industry and consumer product and supplies low-cost, reliable fuel for homes and businesses across the country. Mining contributes to economic activity in every state by supporting around two million high-paying jobs. With growing advancements in technology, the mining industry is facing an exciting shift. It is witnessing the use of three-dimensional modeling and virtual reality. 3D modeling supports the mining industry by reimagining the mine more efficiently.
With the rise in the mining industry, the waste management market is also growing. For instance, the Yanacocha mine, a 250 square kilometer open pit situated in Peru, is the second-largest gold mine in the world. Thus, the presence of such mines keeps the mining activities in the region high. The regional market is dominated by Brazil, which is one of the fastest emerging economies in the region.
The mining waste management market can be bifurcated into the surface and underground based on mining waste management market type. Surface or open-pit is the primarily used method for extracting metals and minerals such as gold, coal, etc., from the earth's crust. Opencast mining is pollution and waste intensive than underground mining.
The mining waste management market can be classified into iron, gold, coal, aluminum, copper, nickel, and others based on mineral type. Coal is estimated to lead the Mining Waste Management Market owing to its massive demand from the power and energy sectors. Although the power and energy sectors have started to focus on renewables for sustainable growth, coal still forms a massive part of the global energy generation pie.
There is an enormous demand for mined commodities, and it is increasingly driven by emerging economies, while the mineral and metal intensity of OECD countries is projected to continue to decrease. In the last hundred years, the extraction of construction minerals has increased by almost 34, and the extraction of ores/industrial minerals increased by a factor of 27. The biomass extraction grew by 3.6 times. Overall, the mining operations are anticipated to increase their ecological footprint due to the continuing strong global demand for mined commodities.
Figure 1: Metal Ores: Global Distribution of Resource Extraction in 2020 (11.2 billion Tons)
The power industry is the industrial world's backbone, offering energy to manufacturing, industrial, commercial, and residential complex. Fossil fuel power plants burn coal or oil to create heat that is further used to generate electricity using steam turbines. In gas plants, the hot gases push the turbine to generate electricity. In the year 2017, fossil fuel produced 64.5% of electricity globally.
Furthermore, in 2018, the electric power sector accounted for around 35% of the total U.S. natural gas consumption. 29% of the U.S. electric power sector's energy comes from the natural gas source. The global electricity demand increased by 4% in 2018 as California remained the largest electricity generation source with an almost 2.6% increase. As a result, the power sector carbon dioxide emission swelled by 2.5%, with coal being responsible for an 80% increase. Mining waste is highly used in the power sector.
According to the International Energy Agency, In the Stated Policies Scenario, the global electricity demand grows at 2.1% per year to 2040, double the rate of primary energy demand. This highlights the electricity's share in total final energy consumption from almost 19% in 2018 to 24% in 2040. Electricity demand growth is anticipated to be particularly strong in developing economies.
The global electricity demand by region inbound to compel the need for mining waste such as coal in the future, which in turn will increase the demand for mining waste management market. More mining activities will lead to better mining waste management. In the year 2020, China alone is expected to have the highest demand for electricity of 7 thousand TWH, followed by the U.S. with 4 thousand TWH.
Figure 2: Global Electricity Demand by Region in the Stated Policies Scenario, 2020 (in TWH)
Moreover, China has seen a consistent upward curve in demand for electricity since the last decade. The rise in demand for electricity indicates that resistive load banks' requirement is bound to increase in the coming years.
Figure 3: Global Electricity Demand of China, in TWH (2015-2020)
South America is home to the most prominent mining industry. The conversion of some large open-pit mining operations to underground operations in Chile is expected to offer enormous opportunities for minerals processing equipment supplier Multotec. It will expand further into the mining sector in South America. Recently, a community in the Salt Lake City area is all set to benefit from a recent announcement from Rio Tinto that invested an additional USD 1.5 billion in its Kennecott copper mine to extend its life until at least 2032.
The new investments in the mining industry are anticipated to compel the mining waste management market's growth. In the year 2019, Latin America attracted more exploration capital than any other region in the world. It received 28% of the total global mining exploration budget. There were six countries, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Ecuador that contributed 90% of the region's total budget.
The Asia-Pacific market is anticipated to be one of the fastest-growing markets for mining waste management. This trend in the growth of the regional market can be attributed to the fact that the mining sector significantly contributes to the GDPs of some of the most dynamic and fastest-growing economies such as China, Australia, and Indonesia are to name some. Owing to which the government in these economies primarily focuses on incentivizing the mining sector in order to increase the investment attractiveness across the sector and boost their GDP.
For instance, in China, the term for prospecting rights in the mining sector has been extended from three years to five.
Such supporting governmental policies have increased the exploration activities in the mining sector of the regional market. And since, the government across these economies have also imposed stern regulation regarding emission from the mining sector. The operators engaged in the business are focusing on adopting technologies and techniques that could result in cleaner production and pollution prevention while extracting minerals, which in turn further creates a need for mining waste management systems in the regional market.