Technavio analysts forecast the global mining laboratory automation solutions market to post a revenue of almost USD 371 million by 2020, according to their latest report.
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The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global mining laboratory automation solutions market for 2016-2020. The report also lists automated analyzers and sample preparation equipment, container laboratory, laboratory information management systems (LIMS), and robotics as the four major product segments for the global mining laboratory automation solutions market.
According to Bharath Kanniappan, a lead analyst at Technavio for automation research, “Mining companies are shifting toward modular and task-targeted automation in laboratories due to high initial cost, maintenance, and complexity of total laboratory automation. Modular automation is a customized process that involves automating just a few steps of the laboratory analytical process, depending on the needs and resources of each laboratory.”
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Technavio industrial automation analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global mining laboratory automation solutions market:
- Inefficiencies in conventional analytical mining laboratory
- Shift of mining activities to emerging economies
- Relaxation of tax cuts for mining industry
Inefficiencies in conventional analytical mining laboratory
In a traditional mining analytical laboratory, all the sand samples are manually logged on arrival at the lab and all the sample preparation analysis steps are processed manually. Therefore, the conventional laboratories require a large staff as sample preparation is labor intensive. Moreover, the mining laboratories need to run 24/7 because the control samples from mining require fast turnaround time (TAT), and this increases staff requirements further.
In an automated mining laboratory, the samples (after logging into the computerized system) are advanced through the entire sample comminutions and analytical processes without operator assistance. This ensures greater efficiency, reduces the possibility of error and requires less staff, thus resulting in significant cost benefits and greater accuracy.
Shift of mining activities to emerging economies
Emerging economies worldwide have experienced incremental investments in exploration as well as mining activities in the past decade. This is because of the growing demand for minerals and the need to expand existing mining reserves. Mining companies are increasingly focusing on emerging economies such as Africa, Latin America, China, and India for exploration and mining activities.
“The share of total expenditure spent on exploration activities in emerging economies has increased by 20% during the last decade. This trend is likely to continue during the forecast period, which bodes well for the growth of the global laboratory automation solutions market in those countries,” says Bharath.
Relaxation of tax cuts for mining industry
Governments worldwide have taken initiatives to reduce dependence on imported metals and increase metal mining activities in response to secular declines in mineral prices after 2011. Technavio expects an attractive regulatory scenario to take hold in countries, including India, Chile, Mongolia, and Peru. Some of the changes in mining regulations include reduced bureaucracy, greater openness to FDI, tax breaks for mining companies, and improved licensing and permit arrangements.
Portugal has relaxed its labor laws against mining companies that operate 24/7, increasing their profit margins. Similarly, Sweden has lowered its corporate income tax from 26.3% in 2012 to 22% in 2015 to attract investments in the Swedish mining industry. These developments can significantly boost the market for the mining laboratory automation solutions market in the region.
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