GE Mining chief executive officer Geoff Knox said the acquisition demonstrated confidence in the underlying demand for resources, which would remain sound over the coming decades as urbanisation and growth in energy demand in emerging economies continued.
“Locally, Australia is in the right place at the right time to benefit from the Asian Century and productivity is critical to how we realise this opportunity,” he said.
“Productivity is the number one issue facing mining at present.
“This acquisition further strengthens our capability to solve the toughest challenges of our mining customers, helping to increase their productivity and efficiency across areas as diverse as water treatment, energy generation, transportation and finance.”
The transaction, which includes equipment manufacturing and servicing operations in Australia and China, allowed GE Mining to expand its product and service offering, GE Transportation president and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said.
“GE has been helping mining customers solve their challenges for over 50 years with heavy-haul locomotives, off-grid power generation, water treatment and a suite of industrial solutions,” he said.
“Australia is a natural home for the global headquarters of GE Mining because of the local expertise and proximity to the industrial-growth customers of resource-rich nations.
“Through Industrea, our facilities in Australia and China are manufacturing mining equipment for the world.”
Industrea is a provider of safety and productivity-enhancing mining equipment, with more than 700 employees across seven Australian locations and a presence in China.
“Industrea’s products, such as its underground flameproof and explosion-proof vehicles, are highly regarded in the mining industry and will complement our existing product lines to provide the technology our mining customers need to conduct their business more efficiently, safely and cost effectively – in some of the most challenging environments around the world,” Simonelli said.
He said Industrea was a natural fit in GE’s existing transportation portfolio, which included locomotives and railway infrastructure and motorised drive systems for mining trucks and drills.
“We already have a strong presence in Australia – 70 per cent of heavy-haul locomotives in the Pilbara region are GE locomotives – and we are constantly developing ways to improve lifecycle costs and cost per tonne for miners through more efficient transport of materials,” he said.
“GE’s experience in battery and hybridisation technologies, its propulsion system offering and global distribution capability will help us expand the GE Industrea business.”
Simonelli said he expected GE Mining to grow its global business to $5 billion over the next few years.
The Industrea acquisition follows GE’s recent purchase of underground mining equipment manufacturer Fairchild International in the US.