Metals & Minerals

40 Years of Experience Within the Industry

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SAI has almost 40 years of experience working in and analyzing the Metal and Minerals industry, including mining technologies and operations; mining chemicals; equipment, machinery and components; maintenance, repair and other services. This experience and knowledge base enables us to support your growth initiatives, address challenges, analyze investment opportunities, and make better decisions moving forward with confidence and decisiveness.

SAI has worked with clients throughout the world on strategic issues on construction and mining equipment, including:

  • Identification and assessment of market opportunities
  • Evaluation of competitive threats
  • Assessment of customers’ buying behavior
  • Analysis of key decision influences in the value chain
  • Identification and evaluation of acquisition and joint venture targets
  • Identification and evaluation of sources of low-cost raw materials and components
CASE EXAMPLE: MINING EQUIPMENT

OBJECTIVE: 

SAI helped a multinational company define major end-use markets for heavy industrial equipment by providing a global study on pumps, compressors, ball/tube mill pulverizers, vertical spindle pulverizers and attrition mill pulverizers

APPROACH: 

SAI assessed the market for the aforementioned equipment and identified growth opportunities for supplying complimentary components to each application

RESULTS: 

The study resulted in providing applicable conclusions and recommendations, which allowed the client to tailor its approach to more successfully compete in the OE and aftermarket portion of the industry

CASE EXAMPLE: MINING EQUIPMENT - INDONESIA

OBJECTIVE:

A global manufacturer of equipment components and assemblies was seeking to understand potential demand for bearings in the mining industry of Indonesia

  • Develop a database of equipment assets owned and leased at each mine in Indonesia
  • Determine purchase drivers of equipment operators and their supply channels for bearings
  • Identify typical supply chain for sourcing bearings and services for mining equipment

APPROACH:

SAI undertook interviews to identify current and future demands of bearings by interviewing 45 mining companies, contractors and equipment suppliers in Indonesia

RESULTS:

  • SAI identified and evaluated size and structure of bearings demand by assessing equipment assets owned/leased, buying drivers and the procurement models of equipment operators
  • Recommended the most attractive opportunities for entry into the bearings market

SAI has project experience in explosives, blasting caps and initiation systems. As a result of various projects, SAI has a network of useful contacts among suppliers, customers, government agencies and trade associations globally

CASE EXAMPLE: EXPLOSIVES - CHINA

OBJECTIVE: 

SAI’s client, a leading multinational producer of explosives, wanted to enter the Chinese market. The Civil explosives industry is highly regulated in China and is governed by the authorities of National Defense.  The client has negotiated with a few potential partners for three years but the client had not concluded an agreement for a joint venture and local production

  • Client was not comfortable with a joint venture unless certain pledges and commitments to operational enhancement are made
  • Client demanded a majority equity ownership (>49%) but it was not approved by authorities
  • The attitude of the authorities was vague.  Lack of government support increased difficulties for a successful joint venture formulation

RESULTS: 

Based on the interviews SAI conducted with the Ministry and other authorities and industry players, SAI advised the client with the following actions:

  • The client has to increase the process of negotiation through smaller successes.  Otherwise, prolonged duration hovering on same issues creates irritations from both government and industry and suggests insincerity at the client’s part
  • Proven smaller successes of JVs with less than 50% ownership are key to the approval of >50% equity ownership
  • Gaps between two parties on technical and commercial issues can be bridged by the client and, if pursued, could further secure the client within the Ministry and key players 

SAI has successfully completed over 200 assignments assessing the metal market. As a result of this project experience, SAI maintains a network of useful industry contacts and databases worldwide

CASE EXAMPLE: SALES LEAD GENERATION - METAL FORGINGS – CHINA

OBJECTIVE: 

SAI developed sales leads for a supplier of to help its client, a supplier of highly engineered forgings, accelerate its sales in the aircraft, refinery and nuclear markets in China

APPROACH: 

Through secondary resources and primary interviews, SAI developed a master list of 39 potential customers for the target product. In consultation with the client, it then profiled 12 selected customers to develop insight on their forging purchases and requirements. In addition, SAI provided an in-depth analysis the supply chain and customer decision making process for each target industry

RESULTS: 

SAI identified companies with the greatest customer potential for its client and recommended a specific approach for the client to sell successfully to each one

CASE EXAMPLE: LITHIUM – AUSTRALIA, TAIWAN AND CHILE

OBJECTIVE: 

The overall project objective was to benchmark the mining cost economics for competing firms involved in the extraction of production of a particular metal and its derivatives with operations in Chile, Australia and Taiwan

APPROACH: 

To accomplish the project objective, SAI undertook over 250 interviews with the target company and competitors, customers, equipment vendors and other industry sources to analyze the target firms operations and costs and benchmark the competitors and operations analyzed

RESULTS: 

From the site data and overall manufacturing cost analysis, SAI determined which operation had the competitive advantage and why.  SAI recommended that its client benchmark its own operations against the competitors’ costs to understand where it had advantages and disadvantages.  The client was so pleased with the value of this study, it commissioned two subsequent studies with SAI

SAI has conducted numerous projects analyzing markets for and suppliers of titanium dioxide, magnesium oxide, kaolin, talc, and many other minerals. Through its previous project work, SAI maintains an international network of contacts within these organizations. Since 1986, SAI has conducted thousands of interviews with suppliers of minerals and compounds, end-use products, including paper/paperboard, ceramics, paints and printing inks, plastics, adhesives, caulks, sealants, refractories, water treatment, etc.

CASE EXAMPLE: CALCIUM CARBONATE – GREATER CHINA

OBJECTIVE: 

For a client that wanted to understand the flow of calcium carbonate in Greater China from mining to end use as well as production cost, SAI conducted research throughout both China and Taiwan

APPROACH: 

SAI’s methodology focused on interviews with over 250 industry participants, including mining companies, ground and precipitated calcium carbonate producers, and end users concentrated in the industries of paper, toothpaste, paints, and tires

RESULTS: 

SAI’s study tracked the calcium carbonate material flow from limestone in China’s mines to all end users throughout China. SAI also was able to provide a production cost analysis in order to explain how Chinese companies were able to produce PCC at a cost of less than one-third of its client

CASE EXAMPLE: POTASH - SOUTHEAST ASIA

OBJECTIVE: 

A major global potash supplier commissioned SAI to do an overview of the South East Asia market for potash and a detailed analysis for Malaysia and Indonesia

APPROACH: 

The study entailed over 260 interviews and included a broad-based regional assessment of:

  • Potash supply and demand
  • Major variables for imports
  • Supply chain dynamics
  • Analysis of existing suppliers

For Indonesia and Malaysia the analysis included government policy regarding potash and the agriculture sector. For these two countries SAI also provided very detailed analysis of current suppliers, key customers and their requirements, pricing of potash, and an assessment of how the client should assess the market

RESULTS: 

The study directly facilitated the client’s development of a focused market strategy to expand its business and strengthen its sales channels into the potash market particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia

SAI has conducted numerous studies that provide a firm understanding of the mining chemical business. SAI’s expertise and experience encompass extractants and leaching; flotation chemicals; processing aids and so forth

CASE EXAMPLE: FLOTATION AGENTS - CHINA

OBJECTIVE: 

A leading supplier with operations in the Americas and Europe with existing business in depressants and collectors commissioned SAI to complete a comprehensive analysis of the China market for depressants, collectors, frothers and flocculants for processing of various ores including coal, copper, iron, phosphate and potash and determine options for market entry.  Additional tasks included:

  • Identification of major China mines for targeted minerals that use flotation agents for beneficiation
  • Determine the off-take of flotation agent demand, chemical type and price
  • Determine and evaluate resources needed by the client to successfully grow its business

APPROACH:

SAI developed information and analysis through 220 in-depth interviews with industry experts associated with mineral concentration plants and mining companies, competitors, government agencies and other industry participants

RESULTS: 

The study supported the client’s go-to-market strategy in China and provided short-listed options for potentially attractive acquisition candidates. The analysis furnished details in respect to:

  • Production and forecast of target minerals
  • Mineral supplier summary
  • Summary of mining chemicals demand organized by target ores
  • Consumption and forecast demand of flotation chemicals
  • Competitor evaluation and assessment of competitive intensity
  • Market segment attractiveness and route to market recommendations

SAI has project experience in maintenance, repair and operations of mining equipment and machinery industry

CASE EXAMPLE: MAINTENANCE SERVICES

OBJECTIVE: 

Develop information about maintenance requirements for large mining equipment, including draglines, shovels, haulers and other mobile equipment used in mines

APPROACH: 

SAI contacted over 150 mining and service provider personnel covering 10 countries in the coal, copper, iron and gold mining industries to determine their unfulfilled needs, trouble spots and desires for improved maintenance

RESULTS: 

SAI worked with the client to develop strategic and tacked approach for marketing maintenance service parts and services to the mines