Big shift in mining tech M&A

Past two years seen more than US$4.5b poured into mining tech M&A and financing

The circa-US$8 billion of mining tech M&A and financing since 2010 is a drop in the proverbial ocean of big tech investment in that time. Yet it marks a significant shift in the view of the market by some large investors, including the industry’s big equipment manufacturers who are hoping to see meaningful returns from sizeable digital bets this decade.

That shift is even more strongly signalled by the rising volume and value of deals over the past two years.

With time still left in 2022, and apparently willing buyers and vendors doing ongoing due diligence on each other, the numbers might still rise.

But as things stand, 2021 and 2022 have seen more than US$4.5 billion poured into mining tech M&A and financing. About 60 significant transactions have been completed. Top of the pile are Bentley Systems’ $1050 million Seequent acquisition in 2021, Sandvik’s $645 million Deswik purchase, Aspen Technologies’ $623 million outlay for Micromine, Epiroc’s $290 million acquisition of RCT Global, Orica’s $240 million acquisition of Axis Mining Technology, and Weir Group’s $200 million purchase of Motion Metrics.

Other than Deswik, Micromine, RCT and Axis, Australian mining tech companies have been at the centre of more than half the deals completed in 2021-2022. This doesn’t surprise long-term market watchers, who see the country’s start-up production line speeding up. RFC Ambrian executive chairman Rob Adamson says Australian companies “account for 50% of global mining technology” development. While the domestic market is large, diversified and generally profitable, most Australian mining technology leaders have significant offshore exposure, which has been part of their appeal to international buyers.

This is an excerpt from InvestMETS Mining 4.0 Volume 1. To order a copy, contact editorial@investmets.com

 

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