Global mining chemicals market is expected to witness growth on account of decreasing ore quality, which has compelled metal extraction companies to use flocculants, frothers, collectors, grinding aids and solvent extractants. Application growth of metals in construction, oil & gas and packaging industries in fast growth economies has increased mining activities meant for extraction of copper, iron ore, zinc, and silver. Consequently, major mining companies such as BHP Billiton have increased their investments in countries with high potential mineral reserves including Chile (Copper), Peru (Silver) and South Africa (Platinum). Aforementioned development of mining companies coupled with mining industry growth in China, Chile, Peru and South Africa is likely to have a positive impact on the market over the forecast period.
Environmental regulations aimed at restricting the use of cyanide coupled with European Commission REACH norms are likely to hamper mining chemicals market demand over the forecast period. Also, South Australian Government passed the “Environment Protection Water Quality Policy 2003” with the aim to control the use of chemicals in mining and other industrial applications, which is expected to have a negative impact on market growth. High logistics cost due to remote location of mines results in high prices of mining chemicals thereby posing a key challenge for market participants.
Global mining chemicals market by product, 2012-2020, (USD Million)
Grinding aids were one of the largest product segments for mining chemicals, owing to their increased use in inducing floatability of ore which enables easier metal extraction. In light of decreasing ore quality, effective and efficient metal extraction process is of paramount importance for major mining companies. Frothers are used as floatation reagents to enhance stability and coarse particle recovery during froth floatation process of copper, nickel and rare elements. Flocculants are expected to witness growth on account of their increasing use in waste water treatment. Solvent extractants such as modified aldoxime and ketoxime blends are used for the purification and extraction of copper, nickel and rare elements.
Water & wastewater treatment was one of the largest application segments and is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Growth can be attributed to stringent environmental regulations implemented by regulatory authorities such as the European Commission and the EPA to reduce water pollution caused by mining activities. Regulatory pressure towards restricting the use of cyanide is expected to hamper mining chemicals market demand in wastewater treatment over the next six years. Mining chemicals demand in mineral processing is expected to be driven by increased importance of collectors and frothers in froth floatation process. Explosives and drilling applications are expected to witness growth due to increased use of chemicals as coolant and corrosion inhibiting solution in mining applications. Mining chemicals are also finding use in exploration and analysis which could be an area of opportunity over the next six years.
Asia Pacific was the largest mining chemicals market in 2013, and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period on account of positive mining industry outlook in China, India, Indonesia and Australia. The Government of India scraped the formalities for obtaining licenses for ANFO production in November 2014, which is expected to result in high manufacturing opportunities. Governments of Chile and Peru have supportive policies to promote foreign investments in the domestic mining sector, which is likely to propel market growth over the next six years.
Global mining chemicals market is highly fragmented with numerous companies operating across numerous regions. Fragmented nature of the market is expected to result in the competitive market scenario. Profitability is a key concern for market players on account of high cost of raw materials coupled with increasing logistics expenditure. Key market participants include BASF, SNF Flomin, Cytec, Ashland and Chevron Phillips. In April 2014, BASF announced the increase in production capacity of solvent extractants at its plant in Ireland and is expected to commence production by early of 2015. U.S. based Cytec Industries launched a new product CYANEX 572 in May 2013, meant for mining rare elements and reducing mineral processing costs.
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