Swedish company Sandvik has signed an agreement with China-based Lingong Group Jinan Heavy Machinery for the production and sale of surface and underground mining equipment.

Under the agreement, a joint venture (JV) will be established following customary regulatory approvals.

Planned to be operational in the second half of this year, the JV will be a part of the new Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology business division formed in March this year.

Operations will be organised in a decentralised business model with separate product areas.

"This joint venture agreement is in line with Sandvik’s strategy to develop a strong foothold in the fast expanding mid-market for mining equipment."

Sandvik Mining president Lars Engström said: "This joint venture agreement is in line with Sandvik’s strategy to develop a strong foothold in the fast expanding mid-market for mining equipment.

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"I am very excited to make this important move to expand Sandvik’s mid-market offering with an experienced industrial partner like Lingong."

The JV will primarily focus on sourcing, assembly, sales and service of surface drills, underground loaders and underground trucks.

Products will be designed to target the specific needs of mid-market customers and sold under an independent brand.

Initially, they will be supplied for the Chinese market.

In March, Sandvik and Germany-based Schenck Process signed an agreement to provide an understanding of mining customers’ equipment, enabling the increase of crushing plant performance. The agreement also supports customers throughout the complete plant lifecycle by enabling a single service provider.