The mining of metals such as gold, platinum, copper, nickel and other raw materials such as salts is combined in the “Mineral Mining” segment. Here, too, we supply exclusively to operators of underground mines. As deposits that are easy to tap are increasingly being depleted here as well, there is a growing market for SMT Scharf’s underground products.
In contrast to coal mines, however, no complex explosion protection is required when mining metals and other important minerals – as a result, electric drives and diesel motors with simpler protection classes can be used. Hard rock mining is diverse and globally distributed: The world’s largest platinum deposits are located in South Africa. Russia is considered the leading mining country for nickel, and a larger number of copper mines are found in the South American Andean countries and in Australia.
Mineral and hard rock mining opens up a number of opportunities for the expansion of our entire product range. Rail systems, rubber-tired vehicles such as our Scharf LEV or our diesel and battery-powered LHD’s and trucks as well as the associated utility vehicles help mine operators to increase their productivity. Our chairlifts make it possible to transport a large number of personnel safely, flexibly and – compared to all other transport systems – continuously. This sector has thus grown into a second mainstay, giving us access to new geographical markets that are less relevant to coal mining. We can thus reduce our dependence on the investment cycles of the coal segment.