With swelling exploration activities of new mines, across key targeted regions, the global demand for mining collectors—used in the froth flotation process and the recovery of heavy metal sulfides from ores—is anticipated to witness a steady year-on-year of 5.4 percent, in 2019. The mining collectors market, however, is projected to lie in the steady growth-low value quadrant, through the forecast period of 2019-2027, as per a recent market intelligence report by Future Market Insights (FMI).
“High-quality reserves are depleting, globally translating into comparatively lower productivity and produce. The demand for mining collectors and mining chemicals has increased as a result of this, specifically for mineral extraction processes from ores with lower mineral content, further making the extraction process economically feasible. Mining sector continues to be the dominant application for Xanthates consumption, representing approximately 95 percent of the overall share,” Senior Analyst, FMI.
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Latin America to Retain Dominance with Increased Investments in Mining Activities
The moderate growth in the mining collectors market is supported by an increased supply and demand scenario in China. FMI analysis also indicates that apart from China, Latin America and MEA form a major market for mining collectors, supported by increasing metal mining activities for precious metals such as gold and platinum, in the region.
“FMI predicts increased investor confidence in Latin America’s mining sector, given the rise in commodity prices of key components such as gold, silver, zinc, and copper, specifically in Peru, Chile and Mexico. While lithium and copper are expected to attract maximum investments, producers are estimated to focus on expansion projects in Chile and Peru—likely to hold the most lucrative investment opportunities. Such opportunities will pave for increased adoption of mining collectors”, Senior Analyst.
North America mining industry is expected to grow significantly in the second half of the forecast period as mining companies shift their focus towards extraction of ores from deep underground reserves, to sustain in the market, thereby increasing the demand for mining collectors for flotation process.
Eastern Europe, on the other hand, is also likely to exhibit potential investment opportunities with a key focus on Russia and the region’s significant reserve of metals and non-metals.
Safer Alternatives Get Applauded; Environmental Challenges to Restrict Market Growth
Since mining collectors are unstable and toxic in nature, its transportation poses serious threats, pushing manufacturers such as Cytec and Clariant to develop environmental friendly alternatives and likely to further impact the global adoption scenario of mining collectors. More recently, Solvay Group launched a new range of collectors, HOSTAFLOT, replacing Xanthates in the traditional sulfide flotation applications. Apart from being a cheaper alternative, the new product uses sustainable raw materials, is safer to handle, and also offers a longer shelf life compared to Xanthates. In addition, while ores are becoming difficult to treat and environmental regulations are becoming more stringent. Water use and conservation is a major concern. Hence, there is an increasing focus on the development of specialty reagents that can meet the needs for treating difficult ores and combat environmental challenges.
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Key Trends Likely to Shape the Future Course of Mining Collectors
- Increasing preference for potassium-based Xanthates given its high extraction strength from low grade ores versus traditional sodium based xanthates (ethyl xanthates).
- Noticeable investments in expanding the application scope of Xanthates in rubber processing and agrochemicals processing.
- To better cater to the growing demand for mining collectors from end-use industries, such as mining, agrochemicals, and rubber processing applications globally, manufacturers are focusing on strategically expanding their capacities while also directing their efforts towards ensuring a steady supply and access to key raw materials such as amyl alcohol and others.