The Mining Laboratory Automation Market was valued at USD 369.3 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 408.59 million by 2026 at a CAGR of approximately 1.66% during the forecast period (2021 - 2026). The COVID-19 outbreak had an immediate impact on the global economy and that impact goes across all industries, including mining. The pandemic has greatly influenced the market’s growth during 2020, as almost all players in the mining industry had closed access to their sites amid the lockdown restrictions. They have tried to maintain operations only with minimal staff.
- The demand for automation equipment in the mining industry is primarily driven by the rising need to enhance productivity and improve workers' safety. The outbreak of COVID-19 has driven the demand for automation and is expected to increase over the long run, primarily to cope with the shortage of labor and increasing costs.
- The deployment of automation, AI, and robotics is rapidly increasing due to the enhanced productivity and mitigating operational costs for laboratories, which is further expected to boost market growth.
- Numerous mining operations are partnering with technology companies to deploy and innovate creative solutions in their operations, to enhance the safety of the people working in the mines. Also, advanced data analytics is being applied to the raw data to create visualizations, insights, and recommendations, which is delivered to mine managers and employees in real-time on their mobile devices. Such instances of innovations and technology adoption in the industry are expected to provide several opportunities for growth.
- In March 2020, Nokia collaborated with CENGN and NORCAT to install and operate a private LTE/4.9G wireless connectivity network in NORCAT’s Underground Centre. NORCAT and CENGN will serve as a hub for the future of mining technology, while Nokia will help in furthering its commitment towards advancing worldwide mining innovation.
- The cost to set the laboratory automation module, including software, is on the higher side and discourages small enterprises. This factor is expected to tilt the market growth opportunities towards vendors who have extended presence in the supply chain, over the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Laboratory Information Management System Expected to Exhibit Maximum Share
- A Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is software that allows professionals or scientist to manage samples, test results and associated data to improve lab productivity. It aids standardize workflows, tests and procedures, while providing accurate controls of the process. They ensure product standards, quality control and environmental safety standards as well as to improve productivity and meet regulatory needs.
- Mining laboratories need to cover a broad range of testing regimes ranging from rare earths and base metals to gemstones. Therefore, these solutions allows configuration of the workflows and screens and tests which can be created and modified using the supplied functionality. Also, mining and metal processing laboratories need to control their processes with a sophisticated laboratory information management system (LIMS) such as CCLAS 6.
- CCLAS 6 is a web-based LIMS solution that automates laboratory processes through flexible sample registration, barcode label printing, work list generation, online data capture from a wide range of analytical instruments, and automatic generation of analytical reports and commercial invoices. The system offers quality control functions that monitor operation product materials and quality control reference standards against specifications.
- Major vendors in the market are expanding their reach by acquiring other players in the market which are enhancing their product portfolio. For instance, in 2019, FLSmidthhas completed its portfolio of automated laboratory solutions for the mining industry through the acquisition of IMP Automation Group. IMP Group has a strong foothold in Australia and South Africa. Its solutions complement the products FLSmidthoffers for quality control and optimisation for the mining process.
North America Expected to Dominate the Market
- North America is expected to dominate the Mining Lab Automation market in the forecast period owing to the dominance of the region in technology adoption across various industries. The growing mining industry in the region has further augmented the growth opportunities for the adoption of lab automation solutions in the industry.
- Canada is also geologically endowed with natural resources. According to NRCan, the country holds the first position in potash production, second position in uranium and diamond production, and the third position in aluminum production. Moreover, Canada has one of the lowest effective tax rates among the international mining jurisdictions. Its flow-through shares mechanism, along with the mineral exploration tax credit and some provincial measures, is recognized for its innovative approach for stimulating mineral exploration, thus driving the players to invest in the market.
- For instance, in May 2020, Canadian startup, ColdBlockTechnologies Inc., an inventor of the innovative sample digestion technology that delivers a new performance standard for laboratories serving the environmental, metals and alloys, mining, food and agriculture, and pharmaceuticals industries, completed a USD 1.5 million Series A round of financing. Its fundraising can accelerate the development of their Generation-3 products to satisfy the automation needs of laboratories.
- There are many emerging use cases in the region are augmenting the market demand for various products. For instance, in December 2020, under a laboratory services contract with Barrick, MSA Labs announced that it will use PhotonAssay to deliver ongoing on-site laboratory management and analysis services to the mine. The PhotonAssaytechnology uses high energy X-rays to analyzegold, silver, and complementary metals in as little as two minutes. It allows samples of up to 500g to be measured and provides a bulk reading independent of the chemical or physical form of the sample. The X-ray assay process does not destroy the sample, meaning it can be kept for further analysis.
- The growing trends in the mining industry are stimulating the market players to form a strategic collaboration with lab automation solution providers and expand their market presence. For instance, in May 2020, Teledyne CETAC Technologies collaborated with Summit Scientific as their sales representative for the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Summit Scientific provides chemical analysis solutions, as well as systems for automating sample introduction and sample prep. Cetac Technologies will provide Summit Scientific with an analytical lab solution that needs advanced automation and improved productivity for their lab operation.
The competitive landscape of the Mining Laboratory is moderately fragmented owing to the presence of several lab automation solution providers globally. The solution providers are innovating and making several developments in the market. Also, several solution providers are forming strategic collaborations and partnerships to boost their market presence.
- February 2020 - Rio Tinto awarded Scott Technology a contract to design and build an automated mine laboratory for the Koodaideri iron ore project in the Pilbara, Western Australia. Under the contract, Scott Technology will construct and supply equipment for the robotic sample preparation and analysis laboratory.
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1.2 Scope of the Study
4.2 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.2.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.2.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.2.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.3 Market Drivers
4.3.1 Shift From Traditional Practices to Automation
4.3.2 New and Innovative Solutions
4.4 Market Restraints
4.4.1 Higher Initial Setup Costs for Overall Module
4.5 Assessment of Impact of Covid-19 on the Market
4.6 Key Applications (Laboratories and Mine-site)
4.7 Major Use Cases
5.1.2 Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)
5.1.3 Container Laboratory
5.1.4 Automated Analyzers and Sample Preparation Equipment
5.2.1 North America
5.2.3 Asia Pacific
5.2.4 Latin America
5.2.5 Middle East and Africa
6.1.1 FLSmidth A/S
6.1.2 Bruker Corporation
6.1.3 Datech Scientific Ltd.
6.1.4 Intertek Group PLC
6.1.5 Rocklabs (SCOTT Group)
6.1.6 Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
6.1.7 Malvern Panalytical Ltd.
6.1.9 HERZOG Automation Corp.
6.1.10 Online LIMS Canada Limited
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- FLSmidth A/S
- Bruker Corporation
- Datech Scientific Ltd.
- Intertek Group PLC
- Rocklabs (SCOTT Group)
- Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
- Malvern Panalytical Ltd.
- HERZOG Automation Corp.
- Online LIMS Canada Limited