As I meet with Maptek customers I’m often asked about reports indicating that the mining industry’s recent boom cycle is softening. After 25 years in the industry I, like many of you, understand the cyclical nature of our business.
The impending slowdown in our industry is a predictable reaction to the slowing of growth in the emerging economies of China, India and Brazil. The cooling of these economies is likely a natural adjustment to more sustainable, long-term growth rates in these regions. While all of this is of concern, having attended last week’s MINExpo show, I believe the future of mining is brighter than ever. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the mining industry’s demise are greatly exaggerated.
This year MINExpo had a record setting 58,000+ attendees, nearly double that of 2008. Based on my interactions with attendees, I found a vast majority of them are focused on improving efficiencies, developing long-term partnerships and planning for growth. While many acknowledged the likelihood of a cooling in the next several months, they also understand that China, India, Brazil and other emerging economies are still growing concurrently with their populations. We can expect the demand for resources to continue to be strong, very strong, as the people of these emerging economies strive for a quality of life similar to that of the developed world.
Today, almost everything we consume is either mined or grown. Mining is essential and cyclical fluctuations in the industry are inevitable; but the demand for resources will continue to increase over time. The interest and palpable energy at MINExpo was a testament to the promising future of mining.
Maptek has a broad base of customers across a wide-variety of commodities. There is no doubt that all our customers experience fluctuations in the price and demand of their products; it is something everyone has grown accustomed to in mining. It is also evident that as the population in developed and emerging economies continues to grow, so too will the demand for commodities our industry provides.
Improvements in the mining industry, such as the size of equipment on display at MINExpo, will continue – but trucks and shovels can only get so big. In the end, companies will require advanced technology solutions to help them design, plan and evaluate the life of their mine for optimal output.
As a private company, the risks involving shareholders that affect public corporations do not affect us. This is an advantage that gives us the ability to remain focused on our customers and continuously improve our products and services. We pride ourselves on our ability to make the jobs of surveyors, geologists, mining engineers, and other earth-resources professionals easier by providing them with the technology they require to manage costs, save time and, most importantly, improve safety.
Chief Executive Officer
October 8, 2012
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