Ore Metals Market size is forecast to reach $10.92 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 0.2% during 2020-2025. Ore metals are metals derived from mineral aggregates known as metal ores. This is known as mineral extraction. Most metal ores contain more than one metal. These metals are extracted together from ores and are separated during the production procedure. This is known as ore extraction. Usage of ore metals in various end-use industries is expected to drive the ore metals market during the forecast period.
By Type – Segment Analysis
Ferrous ore metal segment held a significant share in ore metals market in 2019. Ferrous metals are those that contain iron as the base metal, or in other words those metals which are attracted by magnets. The properties of ferrous metals may be changed by adding various alloying elements. The chemical and mechanical properties need to be combined to produce a metal to serve a specific purpose. Ferrous ore metals are known for their strength. They generally offer reduced electrical and thermal conductivity. However, iron ore processing is a long process of mining, crushing, separating, concentrating, mixing, pelletizing, and shipping. The process of mining low-grade iron ore, or taconite, requires massive resources. Non-ferrous ore metals include aluminium, copper, lead, nickel, tin, titanium and zinc. Bauxite had been the only commercial ore of aluminium in the past and is still the most important ore for the production of aluminium. Aluminum found in bauxite is used in cosmetics, containers and medicines. Non-ferrous metals have industrial applications because of their case of fabrication, resistance to corrosion, electrical and thermal conductivity and lightweight.
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By Application – Segment Analysis
Building and construction segment held a significant share in ore metals market in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 1.2% during the forecast period. The most valuable ore deposits contain metals crucial to industry and trade, like gold, copper and iron. Copper ore is mined for a variety of industrial uses. Copper, an excellent conductor of electricity, is used as electrical wire. Copper is also used in construction. It is a common material in pipes and plumbing material. Steel is a strong, valuable building material. Iron is used in everything from glass to fertilizer to the solid-rocket boosters.
However, COVID-19 pandemic likely to affect the mining industry in a variety of ways. Gold is expected to remain buoyant as will thermal coal and uranium but iron ore, for instance, is expected to come under more pressure as it is fully exposed to consumer demand. Direct mine site closures due to the virus or lack of personnel is seen which is expected to have negative impact on the ore metals market. A mining company Vale, states that the global Covid-19 effects could cut iron ore supply by 18 million tonnes in 2020. International prices of iron ore and base metals have tumbled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, a major consumer and supplier of base metals and a large importer of iron ore.
Geography- Segment Analysis
Asia Pacific dominated the ore metals market with a share of more than 42%, followed by North America and Europe. This is primarily because of higher demand from the construction sector due to a growing population. According to United States Geological Survey (USGS), globally, iron ore production in 2018 increased slightly from that of 2017, primarily owing to increased production in Australia and the completion of a mine in Brazil. This is likely to boost the demand for ore metals in the country as they are majorly used in construction industry. For instance, buildings made with aluminum are virtually maintenance free due to aluminum’s resistance to corrosion. Aluminum is also thermally efficient, which keeps homes warm in winter and cool in summer.
Furthermore, countries such as India and Japan have also been contributing to the growth of the ore metals market. Policy support such as reduced custom duty and increasing foreign direct investments in emerging economies such as India are other factors that will supplement the market growth. High-speed rail systems like the Shinkansen in Japan and the Maglev in Shanghai also use aluminum. Overall, the demand for ore metals is expected to increase in the during the forecast period.
Drivers – Ore Metals Market
Usage of ore metals in various end use industries
Ore metals are widely utilized in various industries that include transport, mechanical engineering, building & construction, consumer goods, and more. Iron metal is a key ingredient utilized for steel production that increases the demand for steel. Key players in the industry are investing in R&D activities to increase the production process efficiency. Increasing infrastructure investments, rising power production, and the growing automotive sector are major factors that drive the market growth. Aluminum is used in transportation because of its unbeatable strength to weight ratio. Its lighter weight means that less force is required to move the vehicle, leading to greater fuel efficiency. Its corrosion resistance is an added bonus, eliminating the need for heavy and expensive anti-corrosion coatings.
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Challenges – Ore Metals Market
Increasing prices and health issues
Increasing prices and limited availability of ore metals can hinder the market growth. Dust from mining can affect asthma sufferers. Sulphur dioxide gas from copper extraction of its sulphide ore is an irritating poisonous gas which can also cause acid rain. Moreover, mining sites will be wastelands after the mining are over, leaving the farmers less land for farming.
Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the ore metals market. Major players in the ore metals market are Aluminium Corporation of China Limited, BC Iron, Corporacin Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco), Freeport-McMoRan, Glencore, Impala Platinum Holdings, MMC Norilsk Nickel, Rio Tinto Alcan, United Company RUSAL and Yunnan Tin Group among others.
In September 2019, BC Iron has reported that progress is continuing with the development of the Nullagine Iron Ore Joint Venture in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia. The venture is jointly own by BC Iron (50%) and Fortescue Metals Group (50%).
Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the global ore metals market during the forecast period.
By end-user industry, building & construction industry is expected to witness the highest demand for ore metals market during the forecast period.
Increasing infrastructure investments, rising power production, and the growing automotive sector are major factors that drive the market growth.
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