Posts Tagged ‘drill’

Joy Global in $1.1bln deal for LeTourneau

May 19, 2011 Comments off

“Joy Global, one of the biggest makers of mining equipment, has struck a $1.1bn deal to buy LeTourneau Technologies from Rowan Companies in a further sign of consolidation in the sector. The acquisition comes six months after Caterpillar, the biggest maker of earthmoving equipment by revenue, paid $7.6bn for Bucyrus International, a US maker of mining machinery which is Wisconsin-based Joy Global’s main rival.

By strengthening Caterpillar’s position as the top mining equipment maker, that deal put pressure on Joy Global to do a merger or acquisition in order to become a bigger player in a fast-growing global market that is estimated to be worth some $40bn annually. The two acquisitions demonstrate bullishness among heavy equipment makers about the long-term strength of commodities and extractive industries, particularly in emerging markets.”

Source: Financial Times, May 17 2011


  • LeTourneau’s mining division mainly produces front-end loaders and dozers. However, most of the company’s revenues come from sales of onshore and offshore drilling equipment.
  • Joy Global is broken down over P&H (mainly drills, draglines, shovels) and Joy Mining Machinery (strong in continuous mining equipment and longwall equipment).


  • The acquisition of LeTourneau provides expansion of the portfolio, access to knowledge in the drilling business, and access to the strong supply chain to emerging countries. On top of this new potential Joy hopes to achieve a $40mln cost saving, which corresponds to approx. 1% of combined revenues.
  • Caterpillar/Bucyrus still is about 10x the size of Joy/LeTourneau. The lack of supply capacity and the blanks in the product portfolio will make it impossible for Joy to be a one-stop shop for all equipment as Caterpillar aims to be. By strategically picking niche markets in which the company is particularly strong (e.g. longwall mining, drilling) it can compete with Caterpillar and Komatsu.

©2011 | Wilfred Visser |

Chile miners alive but long rescue ahead

August 24, 2010 2 comments

“Specialist drilling equipment arrived on Monday at a small gold and copper mine in Chile to begin digging out 33 miners trapped nearly half a mile underground for 18 days – a Herculean task that could last until Christmas.

Thirty-three miners trapped deep underground for 17 days after a cave-in at a small private gold and copper mine in northern Chile are alive and well, but still face months underground until they can be hauled out.

The men tied a note reading ‘the 33 of us in the shelter are well’ to a drill that finally reached them on Sunday just as hopes of finding them alive were fading following the August 5 accident in the mine in Chile, the world’s top copper producing nation.”

Source: Financial Times, August 23, 2010


  • Compañía Minera San Esteban Primera, the owner of the mine, is likely to go bankrupt due to the lost production and the cost of the rescue operation. Other parties in Chile have ensured the funding of the rescue operation.
  • Drilling 700 meter at a 66cm diameter would normally not take more than a couple of weeks. However, no conventional methods can be used because of the risk of collapse or flooding of the shelter.


  • The safety regulations for underground mining in Chile will become stronger. Chile is an important mining country, but regulation has mainly focussed on the large mining corporations. Smaller companies will have to increase safety to similar levels, which will reduce the competitiveness of some of the mines.
  • The major mining houses, working together in the ICMM, might consider setting up a global mine rescue team for situations like these. Having a team standby with the best equipment possible to assist in any mine disaster would shorten the time required to rescue miners and increase the likelihood of survival.

©2010 | Wilfred Visser |