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Top IoT companies in the mining industry

Internet of Things (IoT) describes the use of connected sensors and actuators to control and monitor the environment, the things that move within it, and the people that act within it. 

It is an umbrella term referring to the ability of everyday physical objects (such as fridges, watches or cars) to connect with other devices over the internet, enabling them to send and receive data. 

Use cases include the automated home, the connected car, wearable technology, smart cities and many more.  

For IoT companies in mining, four key technologies are enabling today’s IoT ecosystems: AI, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and 5G. 

GlobalData forecasts the global IoT market to reach $1.1 trillion in revenue by 2024.

While pervasive IoT is still some years away, GlobalData is keeping a close eye on the use of IoT in mining, as well as its evolution. 

Improved data collection and analysis via sensors and the internet will enable mining companies to operate mines more safely, as well as increase productivity and reduce costs. 

Leaders and disruptors in IoT technology companies in mining

Examples include autonomous drilling, driverless haul trucks and predictive maintenance. 

Our leader and disruptor lists for each theme are based on our analysts’ in-depth knowledge of the theme and the players involved in that theme.  

These are based on subjective opinions supported by research and analysis.  

Leader lists consider global market share, position in the value chain and ability to react to emerging, disruptive trends.  

Disruptor lists consider funding, strategic partnerships and the track record of the management team. 

IoT market landscape for mining and metals companies 

The global IoT market was worth $622bn in 2020, up from $586bn in 2019, and will grow to reach $1,077bn by 2024, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% over the period, according to GlobalData forecasts.  

The enterprise IoT dominates the overall IoT market, generating 76% of total revenue in 2020.  

This dominance of the enterprise IoT will continue for the foreseeable future.  

GlobalData expects this segment to still occupy 73% of the overall IoT market in 2024.  

The enterprise IoT market will grow at a CAGR of 12.4%, and consumer IoT revenue will increase at a CAGR of 14.6% between 2019 and 2024. 

Growth forecasts for IoT technology companies in mining 

Industrial Internet revenues reached $247bn in 2020, up from $231bn in 2019. We forecast they will hit $555bn by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 19.1% between 2019 and 2024. 

The market consists of various applications such as advanced automation, asset tracking, conditional monitoring, environmental monitoring, health tech, people and animal tracking, and telematics.  

Conditional monitoring applications occupied the biggest market share in 2020 and are expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.7% from 2019 to 2024 to reach $293bn by 2024. 

Due to an increasing focus on environmental sustainability, environmental monitoring applications are expected to grow at a CAGR of 54.3% to reach $170bn by 2024. 

Ukraine conflict impact on IoT technology companies in mining 

Concerns over the supply of key commodities such as nickel, palladium, and aluminium have led to sharp price increases, with nickel prices on the LME briefly topping $100,000/t on March 8 before trading was suspended.  

Russia accounts for approximately 8% of global nickel, though 17% of the high-grade nickel used in EV batteries. It is also a major producer of palladium, accounting for an estimated 43% of production in 2021.  

While Nonnickel has stated operations are continuing and Polymetal reported on March 9 that all its operations in Russia and Kazakhstan continue undisrupted, Canadian miner Kinross first announced that it was suspending all activities in Russia.  

This includes its Udinsk development project in Khabarovsk Krai.  

Pandemic impact on IoT technology companies in mining

In 2020, the overall IoT market saw sluggish growth as Covid-19 interrupted IoT deployments, slowing progress for IoT technology companies in mining.  

In the consumer IoT domain, the connected car market declined by 10%, and the automated home segment saw just 1% growth in 2020.  

The top performer during the year was the wearables market, which saw a 16% revenue growth.  

Within enterprise IoT, smart cities and Industrial Internet saw moderate yearly increases of 8% and 7%, respectively. 

The global IoT market will generate a staggering $1,077bn in revenue by 2024, up from $622bn in 2020.

The Industrial Internet dominates the global IoT market, accounting for 40% of the IoT market in 2020. 

Value chain for IoT technology companies in mining

We split the value chain for IoT into five layers: devices, connectivity, data, apps, and services.  

While these layers are logically discrete, large-scale IoT solutions will see a considerable degree of blurring of these logical boundaries.  

For example, while there will continue to be a clearly identifiable data layer towards the top of the stack, a growing proportion of the data processing will take place within and at the edge of the network. 

From the point of view of IoT adopters, it is also crucial to note that value is only realised by IoT adopters in the application layer. 

All the data that an IoT network collects is ultimately worthless until action is taken as a result of it, whether in the form of an instruction to an irrigation unit, an alarm sent to a maintenance engineer, or an emergency call to a doctor. 

IoT-driven innovation in the mining sector

To best track the emergence and use of IoT in mining, GlobalData tracks patents filings and grants as well as companies that hold most patents in the field.  

Trends to follow for IoT technology companies in mining

The main trends shaping the IoT theme over the next 12 to 24 months are shown in this table.  

In this, we classify these trends into three categories: technology trends, macroeconomic trends, and regulatory trends. 

Within the mining industry and beyond, IoT technology is interrelated to many other technology themes.  

Thought leaders in the IoT domain are discussing AI, machine learning (ML), big data, and data science. These are the most talked-about areas in relation to IoT by thought leaders on Twitter. 

GlobalData also highlights publicly listed and private companies making their mark as IoT technology companies in mining, as detailed here.  

Hiring by IoT companies in the mining and metals industry

GlobalData’s mining jobs tracker lists mining companies with Internet of Things (IoT) jobs posted in the recent months. 

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