Demand for raw materials boosts mining

M‌ining machinery manufacturers from Germany are also benefiting from the rising demand for raw materials. They supply cutting-edge technology for a climate-neutral future.

At the end of last year, companies in the mining industry were still expecting a very restrained development. This assumption has only been partially confirmed. In the period from January to September 2021, order intake increased by 75 % compared to the previous year. The turnover of German mining technology companies, on the other hand, is lagging behind. In 2020, the industry achieved a total turnover of € 3.38 billion. From January to September 2021, turnover was 18 % below the previous year’s figure at € 2.8 billion. Exports in the period from January to August 2021 were 10.4 % below the previous year at just under € 960 million. The industry expects turnover to pick up by the end of 2021 and anticipates a moderate decline of 5 to 10 % overall. The number of employees is stable at 12 200.

USA largest export market

Most important German export markets – share of total exports

Most important German export markets – share of total exports
In addition to the EU-27 and Great Britain, the largest export markets include the USA, China and Russia. The most common exports to all markets are, in alternating order, crushing and grinding technology, deep drilling technology, mining and roadway heading machinery, and tunnel boring machines.

The export value for the USA from January to August 2021 was € 126 million, almost twice as high as that for China at €66 million. However, the US market does not pose an extraordinary challenge – in contrast to China. The Asian country only imports technology that is not yet available locally in the desired quality and thus causes declining export figures for mining machinery companies with production sites in Germany. Despite the sanctions policy, business with Russia benefits from long-standing good relations with mining companies and their desire for quality.

Mining indispensable

“Without mining technology, nothing works in industry now and in the future. If we want to maintain our current standard of living, we need the corresponding raw materials,” explained Dr Michael Schulte Strathaus, Chairman of VDMA Mining, at the press conference on 18 November 2021 on the occasion of the industry meeting at the Zeche Zollverein in Essen. Everything revolves around achieving the European climate targets. This can only be achieved with increasingly digitalised products and work processes, because the development possibilities in mechanics are limited. “Only smart mining will lead to green mining,” Schulte Strathaus emphasised. “We see our opportunities in offering the best technology worldwide that contributes to resource-saving, efficient, ’green’ extraction and processing of raw materials.”


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