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Fig. 1. Michael Schulte Strathaus, Chairman of the board VDMA Mining.// Bild 1. Michael Schulte Strathaus, Vorstandsvorsitzender des VDMA Mining. Photo/Foto: VDMA

Mining equipment secures Germany as a high-tech location

The mining industry is doing well at the moment, benefiting from a high order backlog. In 2021, the manufacturers of technology for the extraction of raw materials achieved a total turnover of 3.18 bn € in Germany as a production location. From January to September 2022, turnover of 3.75 bn € was 18 % higher than in the same period of the previous year. In the first three quarters, however, incoming orders declined by 26 %. The industry hopes that the excellent mood and response at the bauma trade fair will be able to close the gap in incoming orders by spring and is counting on its technical expertise, especially in digitalisation.

Mining equipment manufacturers’ exports in the period from January to August 2022 were up 25 % on the previous year at just under 1.24 bn €. The VDMA Mining estimates that the industry will end the current year with a 15 % increase in turn­over. The number of employees remains stable at 12,200.

The importance of modern mining technology for Germany as an industrial location has increased with the energy transition. Raw materials of all kinds, such as rare earths, are indispensable to enable electrification and digitalisation. At the same time, raw materials must be extracted worldwide in a way that conserves resources and is sustainable and as safe as possible. Manufacturers are relying on digitalised and, where it is already possible, autonomous extraction and production processes – including in their own companies. Bureaucratic obstacles, such as the German Supply Chain Act, which is ahead of the future EU law and can hardly be implemented, a shortage of skilled workers and the negative attitude towards mining are challenges that must be overcome to ensure that Germany has a future as a high-tech location.

“In addition to all the political and economic uncertainties we are currently facing, we must not lose sight of the fact that a sustainable industrial location in Germany is also a guarantor of social stability and our democratic system,” emphasised Michael Schulte Strathaus, Chairman of the Executive Board of VDMA Mining, at the Mining Industry Meeting in Essen on 17th November 2022 (Figure 1). “Modern mining equipment secures our supply of raw materials and is therefore indispensable.” (VDMA/Si.)