Mining water treatment market to grow 85% by 2019

The global water treatment market for hard-rock mining – iron, copper, gold, nickel – is set to grow 85% to US$ 17 billion by 2019 according to market analyst, Bluefield Research.

More than US$ 15 billion of large-scale desalination plants and supply pipelines dedicated to mining are in development said Bluefield in a recent report. Bluefield water treatment markets analyst, Erin Bonney Casey, said: “Nearly 50% – or US$ 223 billion – of planed hard-rock investment globally is slated for regions with medium-to-high water stress.”
The projected growth is driving increased competition in the sector. Leading water management and treatment companies including GE Water, Suez, Veolia Water, and Pentair are battling for market share through mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, and repositioning in the value chain.
Bluefield said that stricter global regulations on water usage are expanding opportunities for new market entrants to supply mines with desalinated water. The new players include Aqualia, Doosan, Acciona, and Valoriza.
“Regulations on water supply, wastewater treatment, and acid mine drainage in key markets are forcing miners to adopt solutions. And advanced technology is helping to drive down the water demand per ton of mined ore,” said Casey.
Bluefield reported that since 2012 the 15 leading mining companies worldwide used more than 25 million cubic metres a day of water, of which 62% was treated and recycled. In addition, revenue per cubic metre withdrawn ranged from a best-in-class US$ 344 per cubic metre for BHP Billiton down to US$19 per cubic metre for Newmont.