The market trends in the mineral industry are expanding to new directions, following the rising trend in the mineral market and demands. With the growth of global mining market value reaching US$1,045 billion in 2023 (an increase from US$968 billion in 2022), market trends see shifts in demands for certain types of minerals. The development of specific technology also affects market trends because of the rising demands of specific minerals.

What are the major market trends you should understand before jumping into any mineral business?

1. Increasing Demands for Battery Minerals

The current market trends in the mineral industry are dominated by battery minerals. They are necessary for important technologies like mobile devices and electric vehicles. A report on Global EV Outlook by IEA shows that we could expect 35 percent of annual increase on the demands for electric vehicles.

Lithium is a clear example of a mineral with rising demands. It is used to produce rechargeable batteries and other types of energy storage systems. The demand is followed by nickel and cobalt, which are supporting minerals for rechargeable battery productions.

Related: There’s Kaolin in Your Batteries? Yes, and Here’s How It Works

2, Sustainable and Responsible Mining Practices

Green mining is one of the major focuses in future mineral market trends. There is growing concern and pressure toward companies to conduct environmentally-friendly and responsible mining practices. These include efforts to reduce environmental damage, reserve groundwater, protect the surrounding wildlife, and better waste management.

The mining of green metal also comes into sustainability focus. Green metal refers to specific types of metal and mineral used to power environmentally-friendly energy sources. The obvious examples are lithium for electric vehicles and copper for renewable energy technology.

Finally, the sustainability and responsibility factors must also include social responsibilities. Mining companies face strong demands for ethical and responsible practices. They must focus on things like economic development, ethical treatments of employees, and human rights as parts of their social responsibility programs.

3. Shifting Global Supply Chain

The market trends in the mineral industry also revolve around global supply chains, especially since companies can no longer depend on single suppliers. Diversification is important to increase self-sufficiency and reduce reliance on imports. Supply chain strategy is also important when it comes to rare minerals and other commodities.

Global disruptions such as pandemic, wars, conflicts, and monetary issues have made many companies realize that they need to diversify supply chain strategies. Companies need to gear toward anticipating volatility and the unexpected. The strategies aim to improve adaptability without sacrificing quality and cost.

Companies must also improve the quality of connection with their suppliers. Collaborative contracting and better relationships with suppliers are more important than ever to maintain consistency in quantities and qualities.

4. Focus on Sustainability and ESG Factors

Demands on responsible, ethical, and sustainable business practices are rising as a part of market trends in the mineral industry. Public and investors demand companies to apply Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategies in their business practices. 

Investments in ESG also show increase in the current and future market trends. According to a Bloomberg Intelligence report, ESG investment assets are projected to surpass US$50 billion in 2023. Companies that practice ESG strategies also tend to attract more investors.

The future market trends in the mining industry also consider green financing. This is a financial strategy that prioritizes efforts and financial flows to fund sustainability projects, initiatives, strategies, and programs. Mining companies should consider sustainability-linked bonds, loans, and other similar financial options to fund their activities. 

5. Digital Technology, A. I, and Automation

Digital technologies, A. I, automation, and data analytics are poised to become big parts of market trends in the mineral industry. The disruption in these technologies was boosted during the COVID pandemic, when long-distance works, remote operations, autonomous technology, and digital adoptions drastically increased.

Mining and mineral companies can benefit from digital technologies, A.I, and automation to improve efficiency in the operation while reducing the risks for workers. The data analytics system allows companies to create better decision-making, resulting in better productivity, efficient spending, and lower risks.

Related: How Technology and Digital Transformation Impacts Kaolin Industry

6. Circular Economy and Recycling

Circular economy and recycling are parts of innovations related to sustainability. Here, mining companies make efforts to recover or recycle minerals from end-of-life products. This strategy reduces the needs for virgin extraction, allowing companies to use existing resources more efficiently.

Circular economy is important because of the growing demand in minerals, which is projected to be 20 times higher than now by 2040. A part of the strategy is urban mining, where companies take a step further in recycling materials. They extract the valuable minerals and metals from discarded products and waste.

7. Technology Research and Development

Finally, in the future market trends in the mineral industry, companies will not just focus on extractions and productions. Research and development will be a future trend, especially in exploration, efficiency in production, and sustainability.

Technologies for geophysical surveys, remote sensing, and machine learning algorithms are crucial in future exploration. Meanwhile, research and development are also important in finding sustainable strategies, which improve productivity while reducing waste and environmental impacts.

Interested in the mineral business? You can partner with Yukami, an Indonesia-based kaolin supplier that allows you to collaborate with various mining businesses. With these growing market trends in the mineral industry, kaolin definitely will find a profitable place in future industries.