Is the mining sector seeing the beginnings of a robotics investment boom?
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Is the mining sector seeing the beginnings of a robotics investment boom?

By Nicu Calcea 21 Jul 2021

Robotics deals, jobs and patents have been booming in the last few years. But is the mining sector keeping up?

Is the mining sector seeing the beginnings of a robotics investment boom?
Robotics is gaining an increasing presence across multiple industries, with top companies around the world completing more robotics deals, hiring for more robotics roles and mentioning it more frequently in company reports at the start of 2021. Credit: George Hammerstein via Corbis

The mining industry is seeing an increase in robotics investment across several key metrics, according to an analysis of GlobalData figures.

Robotics is gaining an increasing presence across multiple industries, with top companies around the world completing more robotics deals, hiring for more robotics roles and mentioning it more frequently in company reports at the start of 2021.

GlobalData’s thematic approach to sector activity seeks to group key company information on hiring, deals, patents and more by topic to see which industries are best placed to weather the disruptions coming their way.

These themes, of which robotics is one, are best thought of as “any issue that keeps a CEO awake at night”, and by tracking them, it becomes possible to ascertain which companies are leading the way on specific issues and which are dragging their heels.


Hiring patterns within the mining sector as a whole are pointing towards an increase in the level of attention being shown to roles related to robotics. There were 114 actively advertised-for open mining roles within the industry in the second quarter of this year, up from 21 in the same quarter last year.

It is also apparent from an analysis of keyword mentions in financial filings that robotics is occupying the minds of mining companies to a lesser extent.

There have been 13 mentions of robotics across the filings of the biggest mining companies in Q2 2021. This figure represents a decrease compared to the same period in 2019, when industry filings mentioned robotics 45 times.

Robotics is decreasingly fueling innovation in the mining sector. There were, on average, eight mining patents related to robotics granted in the second quarter of 2019. That figure has fallen to six patents in the last quarter of 2020.

Methodology:

GlobalData’s unique Job analytics enables understanding of hiring trends, strategies, and predictive signals across sectors, themes, companies, and geographies. Intelligent web crawlers capture data from publicly available sources. Key parameters include active, posted and closed jobs, posting duration, experience, seniority level, educational qualifications and skills.