Base Metal Mining Market Segment Forecasts up to 2022, Research Reports
Cheaper price and large number of applications of base metals is forecasted to propel the demand for the base metal in the near future. As the demand and production of any metal are symmetrical in nature therefore it is likely that the mining companies will increase their production to narrow the supply demand gap. Advancement in mining technologies is another factor that can boost the base metal mining market. These metals are present in abundance and hence are cheaper and are frequently mined as compared to their counterparts. The common base metals such as copper, lead, nickel and zinc find their use in large number of applications ranging from the use in the electrical wiring to the galvanization. Revival of the European and North American economies has further strengthened the demand for the base metals.
The segmentation of the base metal mining market can be done on the basis of the type of metal, mining technique and application. The base metals include copper, nickel, lead, zinc and aluminum. Unlike, the precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum these metals are readily available and are mined in large quantities. The mining technique depends upon the metal to be extracted. For example, lead is extracted from its ore present in the underground mines by applying the underground mining technique.
Underground mining involves the extensive drilling and blasting to reach the ore body. Once, the ore is recovered from the underground mine, it is further processed to extract the pure metals such as lead. The underground mining technique is much difficult and costlier as compared to the surface mining technique. Other base metals such as copper, zinc and nickel are also extracted using the underground mining technique. Aluminum is extracted from bauxite, which is mined using strip mining technique. The extracted bauxite is first converted into alumina and then to aluminum. Base metals are used in a number of applications; copper is used in electrical wiring, lead is mainly used in batteries, nickel is used to harden the metal alloys, zinc is used in galvanization and production of alloys.
Regional segmentation of the base metal mining market can be done by identifying the major base metal producing countries. Major countries include the United States, Canada and Mexico in North America; Poland, Greece and Russia in Europe. Major producers from Asia Pacific include countries such as China, India, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. Rapid industrialization in the emerging economies such as India and China has propelled the demand for the base metals in these regions. The major producers from Latin America include countries such as Peru, Brazil and Venezuela. The Rest of the World (RoW) segment includes the Middle East and African countries such as Iran, Nigeria and South Africa.
Wide number of applications, easy availability, advancement in technologies, and revival of North American economy are the major drivers for the base metal mining market. Concerns related to the negative environmental impact of mining are the major restraint to the base metal mining market. The untapped reserves of the African countries can provide excellent opportunities to the base metal mining companies.
Some of the key players in the base metal mining market include companies such as Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton plc, MMC Norilsk Nickel, Vale SA, Bosai Minerals Group, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., Anglo American plc and Vedanta Resources plc.