Liebherr’s biggest mining equipment market, Asia/Oceania (dominated by Australia), had a softer 2022, but the group’s mining product segment still saw sales climb 7.1% to €1227 million for the year to the end of December.
Mining also contributed 7.1% of the Liebherr family-owned conglomerate’s €12,589 million of 2022 turnover, up 8.2% year-on-year.
The diversified German company produces cranes, white goods, aerospace and transportation systems, material handling and earthmoving equipment, and other products. Ten of 13 product segments lifted turnover in 2022 to help it post a new group record.
“The worldwide demand for raw materials, and the equipment needed to extract them, remained strong throughout 2022,” the company said in its 2022 annual report, presented this week.
“This was despite the challenges presented by global inflation, the international energy crisis, and the war in Ukraine.”
Asia/Oceania still accounted for more than 56% of Liebherr’s mining business in 2022. The next biggest region was Africa/Middle East with 14.2%. Liebherr said it saw “encouraging growth in turnover in North America” (5.9% of total sales).
The company said it expected its first autonomous mine truck haulage fleet to be operating this year.
“All Liebherr trucks are now trolley-line compatible, which will help customers reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” it said. “These trucks have also been designed to be compatible with future electric battery technologies.
“Liebherr also completed its Zero Emission Mining feasibility study in 2022, which investigated available technologies in order to determine how the company can effectively progress within the zero emission area in the future.
“An important part of Liebherrʼs commitment to decarbonising the mining industry was the signing of an integration and supply agreement with Fortescue Metals Group in June 2022. This agreement involves integrating electric battery and fuel cell systems into the T 264 off-highway truck.
“After an initial period with conventional manned and diesel T 264 trucks starting operation on Fortescueʼs mine sites, the fleets will gradually be converted into battery powered trucks to allow Fortescue to achieve their ambitious zero emission targets for heavy mobile equipment.”
Liebherr is investing in its Colmar and Newport factories in France and the USA, respectively, to boost off-highway truck production.