Business Profiles Featured

Komatsu Mining Corp.: Innovating Mining Technologies

The Komatsu brand encompasses a variety of services internationally and is a leading force in the manufacturing, construction, mining, forestry, and industrial heavy equipment solutions sectors. With over 100 years of experience behind its operations from its roots in Japan, Komatsu values ambition, perseverance, collaboration, and authenticity to bring value to their manufacturing and technology innovation. By doing so, they aim to empower sustainability for a future where people, businesses and the planet can thrive together.  

Over the past century, Komatsu has continued to invest in core capabilities and strategic acquisitions which have allowed them to expand to be a globally recognised brand. They have achieved this through strategic partnerships that can meet the needs and challenges on an international scale. A key acquisition comes in the form of Joy Global Inc, renamed under the umbrella of Komatsu as Komatsu Mining Corp. in 2017. The acquisition brought more than 10,000 people with deep knowledge and experience in the mining industry, bringing the company’s total employees to 57,000. However, throughout the Komatsu umbrella, their founding philosophy remains the same; The Komatsu Way, which champions the principles of quality, reliability, technology, innovation, employee development and global reach.  

Komatsu’s mining presence is seen globally in its facilitation and support of projects across the world. With this expansion, they can offer a whole range of mining solutions, notably in the underground hard and soft mining industry. There is an ever-growing demand for metals and minerals, which are becoming increasingly difficult to mine due to challenging environments. As part of Komatsu’s operations, they aim to help to lower the cost of underground hard rock mining and speed up the production process. They do this whilst simultaneously attempting to reduce environmental impacts and mitigate any safety concerns. As part of Komatsu’s hard-rock mining solutions, they partner experts with customers to aid in the selection of shaft sinking equipment, raiseboring tools, development and bolting drill jumbos, drifters, feeds, loaders, and trucks. Their operations encompass the world of underground hard-rock mining, backed by top-quality and meticulously engineered machines which have the constant support of responsive and knowledgeable teams.  

The need for underground soft-rock is also increasing with the demand for industrial minerals and coal. These resources require increasingly advanced underground mining technologies and equipment to retrieve the in-demand resources.  However, there has been a shift in Komatsu’s operations towards using the power of data and technology to enhance the safety, productivity, and performance of mining projects in these places. Komatsu is increasingly aware of the unrealised power of analytics across the mining industry and has taken steps to use analytics and optimization technologies to gradually play a larger role in their mining operations. Advanced analytics and machine learning techniques can be utilised to gain a deeper understanding of processes across the value chain for improvement and optimisation. Komatsu adopts the use of more advanced technology in Longwall mining, in which advanced electronics can organise and execute the process of mining with the required equipment and tools. This allows for real-time decision-making, whilst keeping the workers out of harm’s way through its remote management.  

In line with global demand for meeting environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, Komatsu has begun looking at how analytics can positively impact the reduction of a company’s carbon footprint. By adopting the use of analytics in the world of mining, they can improve overall productivity, reduce the costs involved and consequently promote more sustainable practices in the long run. 

Furthermore, another key service of this branch of Komatsu is surface mining. Komatsu brings experts and customers together to identify the best combination of surface equipment and technologies to facilitate their mining projects. Boasting a whole host of machinery, Komatsu offers mining trucks, electric and hybrid rope shovels, wheel loaders, blast hole drills, hydraulic excavators, dozers, walking draglines, automation solutions and connected mining technologies.  

Komatsu is a leading force in the automation of mining. After launching their first computerized dispatch system in 1980, they now boast 250 autonomous trucks internationally. They are a leader in the world of Autonomous Haulage Systems (AHS), as mining companies begin to pursue fully automated operations without the need for human intervention. By doing so not only does the operation become more efficient to fully automate the mining process, but it ensures the safety of its workforce which remains a key concern for Komatsu throughout all its operations.  

As a wider organisation, Komatsu remains committed to being a valued partner to support sustainable practices both within their company and across the world. Consequently, they have set the goal of reducing their carbon dioxide emission by 50% by 2030, compared to the figures set in 2010. Even further, they want to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from production by 50% and reduce emissions from products also by 50% in the same time frame. They have even challenged themselves to source 50% of the electricity used at major production sites worldwide from renewable energy sources.  

Ultimately, Komatsu’s global operations have remained true to their roots in championing effective operations whilst supporting and respecting its environmental impact across the world. Their acquisition of Komatsu Mining Corp places them as a leader in the world of mining solutions internationally, especially through their advancement in automated technologies. We can see Komatsu making waves throughout the mining industry for another 100 years to come.