Minexpo 2016 showcases a mining industry finally in recovery

AC883 was in Las Vegas in September to attend Minexpo, one of the largest trade shows for the global mining sector. More than 40,000 of the world’s mining executives roamed the cavernous halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center to view the leading-edge equipment and innovative technology in use (or soon to be) in mines around the world. Some of the displays were absolutely breathtaking, like Caterpillar’s enormous trucks and excavators that were on every attendee’s must-see list:

Credit: Fickr/Minexpo

Credit: Fickr/Minexpo

Nearly every technology and heavy equipment manufacturer had a booth at Minexpo this year. Komatsu’s Autonomous Haulage Vehicle, an unmanned, cable-free piece of machinery, was a crowd pleaser in the great hall. Atlas Copco’s mini-factory was a gathering point to sip coffee and network amongst high-performance drills. Liebherr demonstrated a new troubleshooting technology that drastically reduces downtime in the production process. The show also offered a global perspective with large contingents from Canada, China, Australia and Sweden to name but a few.

Even more compelling than the machinery itself was the tone throughout the trade show floor – optimistic, upbeat with a sense of relief. The mining industry is slowly stabilizing after an atrocious downturn in commodity prices and service and supply companies certainly felt the effects in their own businesses. Who knows what the convention would have been like if it had taken place just six months ago, as metal prices first steadied. The fact that attendance numbers were the same as the last convention in 2012 can attest to the resurgence as well. With that in mind, we’re looking forward to 2020’s event!

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