Mining technology to increase safety and productivity

Mining Technology to Increase Safety and Productivity

The role of technology is central to creating a future for the mining industry in Australia. It can improve the cost-efficiency of mining, and improve the safety of industry workers.

Underground mines are one of the most challenging environments for workers and their equipment. The effects that implemented technology can have on the cost per ton is impacted by many factors including mine design, application, product quality and maintenance.

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2017 Underground Mining Trends

Underground Mining Trends 2017

Australia’s underground mine productivity benchmarks are among the world’s best. There are a vast number of operating underground hard-rock mines in Australia producing coal or ore containing a variety of minerals and metals.

For Australian companies trying to enhance mining output in an ever-volatile environment, they must address a range of issues across the business to maximise value.

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Top 10 Mining Companies in the World

The top 10 mining companies act as a proxy for the performance of the mining industry.

PwC’s 13th annual review of global trends in the mining industry is based on the financial performance and position of the global mining industry as represented by the Top 40 mining companies by market capitalisation.

It is within the power of the Top 40 to rebuild after a mining slump. As much as it is true that the top 40 mining companies provide a guide as to how the mining industry may look in the future, the top 10 companies provide a clear picture of the heights they may reach again.

The top 10 mining companies are a mix of traditional and emerging companies forming a truly globally diverse group that is driving growth across the planet.

Top 10 Mining Companies in the World

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BHP Billiton (UK/Australia)

BHP Billiton is among the world’s top producers of major commodities including iron ore, metallurgical coal, copper, and uranium. It operates a wide variety of mining, processing and oil and gas production operations in over 25 countries employing approximately 65,000 people.

It is a truly global company with their products being sold worldwide, with sales and marketing led through Singapore and Houston, United States. BHP Billiton’s global headquarters are in Melbourne, Australia.

It trades in Australia, United States of America, United Kingdom, and South Africa.

In recent news, Australia’s BHP Billiton also made history by becoming the first foreign company to join state oil firm Petróleos Mexicanos in developing the already discovered Trion oil field in the Gulf of Mexico.

Rio Tinto (UK/Australia)

Rio Tinto is a leading global mining and metals group that focuses on finding, mining, processing, and marketing the Earth’s mineral resources including aluminum, copper, iron ore and diamonds and energy.

Their 55,000 people work in more than 40 countries across six continents. Strongly represented in Australia and North America, and also have significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.

It trades in Australia, United States of America, and the United Kingdom.

In recent news, Rio Tinto outlined their new $5 billion productivity push under long-term strategy focused on cash generation spanning until 2021.

China Shenhua Energy Company Limited (China/Hong Kong)

China Shenhua is one of the emerging mining companies and is a world-leading coal-based integrated energy company. Its main business includes production and sales of coal, railway, and port transportation of coal-related materials, as well as power generation and sales.

China Shenhua, with the largest coal reserves, is largest coal supplier and vendor in China employing approximately 75,000 people. It trades on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges.

In recent news, Shenhua Group is said to be seeking to limit sales of the fuel to end-users and choke off supplies to traders amid government pressure on the nation’s major miners to cool surging prices.

Coal India Limited (India)

Coal India another emerging mining company and is a holding company which encompasses the whole gamut of identification of coal reserves, detailed exploration followed by design and implementation and optimizing operations for coal extraction in its mines.

Coal India produces around 84% of India’s overall coal production, feeds 98 out of 101 coal-based thermal power plants in India and employs approximately 350,000 people.

It trades on the Bombay and National India stock exchanges.

In recent news, Senior Indian government officials tasked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with reviewing energy security are recommending the break-up of the country’s coal monopoly into seven companies, which they say would make it more competitive and efficient.

MMC Norilsk Nickel (Russia)

Nornickel Group is another emerging mining company and involved in prospecting, exploration, extraction, refining and metallurgical processing of minerals. As well as the production, marketing and sale of base and precious metals.

It is the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium and one of the world’s leading producers of platinum and copper employing approximately 90,000 people.

It is traded in Russia and the United Kingdom.

In recent news, the Group has filed lawsuits against the Botswana-based BCL group (BCL) to enforce the sale of Nornickel’s 50% stake in a joint venture Nkomati to BCL. This offtake agreement enables Nornickel to retain control over the distribution of a desirable product given the rising deficit in the nickel market.

Glencore (UK/Australia)

Glencore is a traditional leading integrated commodity producer and trader, operating worldwide. Their business covers over 90 commodities encompassing metals & minerals, energy products, and agricultural products as well as related marketing and logistics activities.

It is traded in Hong Kong, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. It is supported by a global network of more than 90 offices located in over 50 countries employing around 160,000 people, including contractors.

In recent news, Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund have together acquired a 19.5 percent stake in Russia’s top state-controlled oil company, Rosneft, representing a surprising turnaround for Glencore, which only last year faced doubts about its ability to handle its debts.

Grupo México (Mexico)

Grupo México is one of the largest companies in Mexico, Peru, and the United States, and one of the leading copper producers in the world.

Its main activities are in the mining-metallurgic industry, the exploration, exploitation, and benefit of metallic and non-metallic ores, multi-modal freight railroad service, and infrastructure development based in Mexico City.
It boasts large mining complexes which contain significant reserves of copper employing approximately 30,000 people.

It is traded on the Mexican Stock Exchange.

In recent news, Grupo Mexico was the only company that rose in Mexico’s IPC stock index since the Nov. 8 U.S. election, as Trump’s $550 billion infrastructure pledge helps fuel the biggest surge in copper prices in seven years.

Vale S.A. (Brazil)

Vale is emerging as one of the world’s largest mining companies. They also have major operations in the areas of logistics, power, and steelmaking.

Vale operates in 27 countries employing approximately 75,000 people across all sectors. Leaders in the production of iron ore, pellets, and nickel. They also produce manganese ferroalloys, coal copper, gold, silver, cobalt and fertilisers.

It is traded in Indonesia, Honk Kong, Madrid and New York.

In recent news, Vale trading in New York is projected to declare fiscal fourth quarter financial results right before the stock market’s official open on March 02, 2017. The stock added about 27.5 percent in price since last results when it was at $6.91 a share.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Inc. (Canada)

PotashCorp is the world’s largest fertilizer company by capacity, producing potash, nitrogen and phosphate. Produced from mineral deposits their main products are potash, in standard and granular grades, DAP, MAP, phosphoric acid, ammonia, and urea.

They have a number of facilities across North and South America as well as the Middle East and China employing approximately 6,000 people.

Common shares of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.

In recent news, Potash Corp was recognized for excellence in corporate reporting for narrating a well-organized and complete story that went above and beyond in explaining the company’s strategies, risks, uncertainties, forecasts and outcomes, the judges said.

Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) (Saudi Arabia)

Ma’aden is a diversified mining company, active in gold base metals mining and infrastructure industry. Ma’aden was wholly owned by the Saudi Government before 50% of its shares were floated on the Saudi Stock Exchange in 2008.

Ma’aden’s main areas of interest are gold, phosphate, and aluminium. Ma’aden is constantly working on expansion of its business portfolio, discovery, and evaluation of sites for new metals. It operates solely in Saudi Arabia and employs approximately 2,000 people.

In recent news, Saudi Arabian Mining Co. plans to double gold production by 2020 and is increasing output of other commodities from aluminium to ammonia as the world’s biggest crude oil exporter seeks to diversify its economy.


The 2025 edition of Mine might reflect differently due to changes within the Industry. Fresh contenders are being nominated from many locations to take the mantle. Or will the old guard remain largely intact, proving there is no substitute for experience?

During 2015, many of the established members of the Top 40 marked below their book values for the first time in the history of the Mine report. There is a lot of time and energy being sunk into creating efficiencies and cost-savings, which considering mining is a long-term game will likely set them for future growth and sustainability.

Reliability in Hire Machinery Through Quality Maintenance

Underground Mining machinery is some of the most durable, high-impact machinery on the market. Despite its durability, the underground environment is harsh and machines deteriorate without an ongoing maintenance plan.  Minspares understands that when customers buy or hire a machine they expect it to be in good condition, compliant with current standards, and able to perform at a high level. Read more

6 Questions To Ask Before Choosing A Mining Machinery Supplier

Mining is an integral part of the Australian economy, accounting for about 10 per cent of the nation’s GDP. As of 2015, we have 420 mining operations in place, extracting coal, gold, copper, nickel, zinc, bauxite and opal.  It is big business and there are a lot of mining machinery providers out there vying for your business.

If you are responsible for choosing a mining machinery supplier, the choices available to you may seem overwhelming. To help you with your decision, we have created 6 questions that you should ask. By answering them, you will be able to reduce your search to a few providers that meet the needs of your company and your mining operation.

1. What are your equipment wants/needs?

Before looking for providers, it is important to work out what equipment you need. Let us say you are looking for underground and tunnelling equipment – it is best to find companies that specialise in this type of machinery. Read more

hire vs buy mining machinery

Mining Machinery Hire or Buy?

A comparison guide between hiring and buying mining machinery

To make any mining operation successful requires planning and logistics. If you are involved with a project, you have no doubt considered whether to buy or hire your mining machinery.

In this article, we are going to discuss the pros and cons in the hope it will provide the right solution for your circumstances. Read more