Rio Tinto’s CEO: Chinese mining equipment now has “much higher quality”

Rio Tinto’s CEO: Chinese mining equipment now has “much higher quality”

Articulated truck A300D produced by BZK China

Forget about the North-American monopoly when it comes to producing quality mining equipment. According to the CEO of the mining giant Rio Tinto, the Chinese manufacturers are really improving in this field and can now be compared to the major US manufacturers, Sam Walsh said during an investor conference.

Rio Tinto’s representative revealed the company has been boosting its purchases of Chinese and Indian heavy equipment – such as heavy-duty trucks, equipment for loading ships and rail cars that carry ore – and other products.

The company finds the quality of this equipment quite impressive, the site Mining quotes.

Sam Walsh Photo: Reuters
Sam Walsh
Photo: Reuters

Walsh confirmed that the quality of the rail cars “was much higher” compared to the miner’s traditional supplier:

Instead of spot welds, for example, on the sheet metal they were actually continuous welds.

Although the quality of Chinese equipment can vary widely depending on the makers, “it’s incredible the speed at which they are coming up the quality curve”, a JP Morgan analyst recently said.

This obviously means more competition for well-known mining suppliers like Caterpillar or Joy Global, two companies that are going through tough times while facing lower sales and profits.