A base metal is any kind of inexpensive and common metal, as opposed to a precious metal such as silver or gold. Base metals have a number of properties owing to which they are being widely employed in a number of industries globally. These include low maintenance requirements, corrosion resistance, and high strength, among others. The rising demand for base metals globally has resulted in increased production by mining companies in order to lower the demand-supply gap globally.
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Low Prices of Base Metals to Fuel Growth of Market
On the basis of volume, the global base metal mining market stood at 103.33 MMT in 2014 and is expected to reach 160.19 MMT by 2023, rising at a 5.01% CAGR from 2015 to 2023. The base metal mining market is predicted to grow smoothly in the coming years due to the low prices of base metals and their rising employment in the construction industry. In addition, the technological developments in extraction processes and deep mining of base metals will further augment the development of the market for base metal mining. On the other hand, the increasing risks involved in ultra-deep and deep mining and the dearth of natural reserves globally will impede the growth of the market.
Aluminum Constituted Largest Share of 53.73% in 2014
There are majorly five types of base metals, namely tin, copper, nickel, lead-zinc, and aluminum. Of these, in 2014, aluminum constituted the largest share of 53.73% in the market. This segment is poised to take up a share of 54.35% in the global base metal mining market by 2023. The increasing focus on the advancement of energy-efficient and lightweight vehicles in the automotive industry is a key driver for the growth of the segment of aluminum.
Increasing Activities of Development in Power Industry to Raise Demand for Copper
The market for copper will also gain a significant share in the coming years and is expected to expand at a 4.30% CAGR from 2015 to 2023 in terms of volume. The reason for the dominance of copper is the increasing development of both power distribution and production. Furthermore, the growing pressure to renew the old power infrastructure in both North America and Europe will raise the demand for copper in the coming years.
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Asia Pacific Base Metal Mining Market Led with a Share of Around 63% in 2014
Geographically, the base metal mining market is segmented into North America, South and Central America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa. Amongst these, the Asia Pacific base metal mining market held a share of approximately 63% in 2014 and is poised to maintain its superiority through the forecast horizon. The reason for the dominance of this region is the high-paced urbanization and industrialization in this region. Furthermore, the increasing disposable incomes of individuals and the steady economies of emerging nations such as China and India have increased the demand for construction projects in these nations, fuelling the growth of the market for base metals in Asia Pacific.
The prime players operating in the global base metal mining market are Freeport-McMoRan, Inc., Glencore Plc., CODELCO, Antofagasta PLC, BHP Billiton Limited, and Alcoa Inc., among others.