Highwall Mining

In highwall mining, the coal seam is penetrated by a continuous miner propelled by a hydraulic machine.

Surface Mining

Companies in this segment remove soil and rock overlying the mineral deposit through shafts or tunnels.

Underground Mining

The segment includes companies that dig tunnels or shafts into the earth in order to reach buried ore deposits, such as coal and other hard rocks.

The Mining, Minerals, Metals industry is Highly Concentrated. The production in this industry is dominated by a small amount of large firms that are able to shape the industry’s direction and price levels.

Primary Demand Drivers

  • Coal: Generators of electricity
  • Metal ore: Industrial production
  • Nonmetallic mineral: Construction spending and agricultural spending on fertilizers

Profitability Drivers

  • Efficient operations since most products are commodities sold based on price
  • Volume of operations
  • Strategic acquisitions at bargain prices

From the Blog Blog RSS

Cobalt, a key component in the production of lithium-ion batteries that power phones, computers, and electric vehicles, has soared in both demand and price in recent years. Lithium-ion batteries account for over half of global cobalt consumption, and with electric vehicle sales predicted to grow from 6.5 million in 2021 to 66 million in 2040, the appetite for the metal is understandably high. However, Cobalt is a unique commodity because it’s primarily controlled by only two countries: China and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC supplies about 70 percent of the world’s Cobalt, but 80% of its industrial cobalt mines are owned or financed by Chinese companies. This dynamic has disproportionately favored China and has led to hostility among the Congolese government and its domestic mining companies.

With several years invested in mining, South Africa is bringing this industry into the new year with conflict and concerning statistics. Many eyes are on this region as a leading supplier of gold, platinum, coal, and other prominent resources; however, companies relying on these mines are starting to turn to other regions as South Africa appears to be gradually forfeiting its spot at the top of the industry.


  1. Hoovers (Date Accessed: 6/1/2017)