Major companies in the metal ore market include Rio Tinto Plc; Vale SA; BHP Billiton Ltd; Fortescue Metals Group Ltd and Barrick Gold Corp.
The global metal ore market is expected to grow from $186.65 billion in 2020 to $212.63 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9%. The growth is mainly due to the companies rearranging their operations and recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. The market is expected to reach $258.12 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 5%.
The metal ore market consists of sales of metal ores and concentrates by entities (organizations, sole traders and partnerships) that mine metallic mineral ores. The industry includes establishments developing mine sites, ore dressing, and other beneficiating operations such as crushing, grinding, washing, drying, sintering, concentrating, calcining, and leaching. The metal ore market is segmented into gold ore; iron ore; silver ore; uranium ore; vanadium ore and all other metal ores.
Asia Pacific was the largest region in the global metal ore market, accounting for 74% of the market in 2020. North America was the second largest region accounting for 9% of the global metal ore market. Africa was the smallest region in the global metal ore market.
Mining companies are starting to use cognitive computing to enhance the decision-making capabilities in mining operations. The ability of cognitive computing to give insights on future trends of the industry and make real-time decisions are some of the driving factors for mining companies to implement this technology. The key areas where cognitive computing and predictive technology helps mining companies include giving accurate information on drilling locations, depth to be drilled, predicting the equipment failure in advance and autonomous transportation. Goldcorp is using IBM Watson to analyze drilling reports and geological survey reports. This approach assists geologists with the exploration process and by helping them make more accurate, data-driven decisions. For instance, according report by Scoop, the global cognitive computing market reaches to $31.3 billion by 2019.
Many developed and developing economies are imposing restrictions on free trade, which are expected to hinder the growth of the metal ore mining market going forward. In July 2018, the US administration imposed $550 billion worth tariffs on Chinese products including coal. In return, China imposed $185 billion worth tariffs exclusively on USA products. Following new tariffs on imported coal from the USA at 25%, the import of coal in China decreased from 2.09 million tons a year, i.e. 349,000 tones a month on average, to 152,000 tons for the first half of 2019. Reductions in the world free trade are expected to hinder the growth of the metal ore mining market due to the expected increase in the production costs and tariffs.
The presence of large metal ore reserves globally supported the metal ore mining activities. Metal ore reserves such as iron ore reserves are available in almost every country worldwide with 50 countries are involved in mining iron ore. According to the U.S Geological Survey, countries such as Australia with 900 million tons and Brazil with 490 million tones of usable iron ore dominate the world’s iron ore exports, each having about one-third of total exports. The other reserves are in the China, USA, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Canada and India. The large metal ores reserve such as iron ores reserves globally supported the growth of metal ore mining market.
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