Aussie tech business disrupting $4.4 billion global mining industry

After more than 40 years of little to no innovation, a critical part of the mining industry is ripe for disruption.

After more than 40 years of little to no innovation, a critical part of the mining industry is ripe for disruption.

Traditionally, high voltage coupler systems (HVCS) have been heavy, dangerous and inefficient. It’s a costly and life-threatening problem – and one that Aussie company Connec is already addressing with its better, safer and cheaper solution.

The global mining industry is dominated by companies wanting to achieve optimal efficiency. Worth US$1.84 trillion in 2021 and forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% to reach US$3.36 trillion by 2026, reducing downtime and increasing uptime by mere fractions of a percent can be worth a fortune. This is reflected in a mine’s All-In Sustaining Cost (AISC), a key indicator of profitability and a metric that Connec can substantially improve.

The problem with existing connectors is that they are bulky, heavy and made using highly conductive metals. They require extensive manpower, are expensive to maintain and dangerous to handle – especially in explosive atmospheres with high cable failure rates potentially leading to significant mine downtime.

Targeting a $4.4 billion connector industry desperate for innovation, Connec has developed the world’s first polymer solution that is lightweight, cheaper, non-conductive and easy to maintain.

Source: Connec

With Connec’s technology, a new cable can be connected in less than 90 minutes, instead of up to 24 hours with conventional systems. The added bonus of real-time fault detection allows for precision identification of any connectivity issues, meaning the isolated incident can be handled quickly without needing a whole mine shutdown.

There is also the risk mitigation that Connec offers. Electrocution and gas ignition incidents cost human lives, harm reputations and burn capital. Anglo American faced intense criticism after a gas ignition at its 5mt/yr Grosvenor coal mine that resulted in a two-year mine closure and billions in lost revenue. Connec’s proprietary polymer, non-conductive HVCS eliminates the risk of something like this happening because of a connector system.

Industry prepares for new era

A global shift towards autonomous mining has highlighted the critical need to ensure all this HVCS technology is powered safely and economically – and there is only one company in the world who has developed a market-ready solution.

The global mining automation market is worth US$3.35 billion and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 7.8% to reach US$6.4 billion by 2030. Most of this demand for innovation is being driven by global mining companies looking to optimise their operations, sparking tech companies like Connec to facilitate this transition.

Anglo American is committed to global implementation of their ‘FutureSmart’ autonomous mining program after repeated exposure to ESG risk events resulting in shutdowns and deaths. Connec’s HVCS is the only connector able to facilitate wide-bandwidth data communications through an optic fibre cable that is inside the electrical cable, a necessity for autonomous mine monitoring and operating. This means that there is only one cable system required, instead of the traditional two systems that come with an array of safety and cost issues.

Connec has 70,000 cable hours in customer sites with zero faults and use of its connectors has reduced the risk of cable faults by more than 26%, as well as decreasing the likelihood of joint failures, termination failures and installation defects by 67%.

The technology is safeguarded against competition due to the complexity of polymer composition that cannot be reverse engineered and years of regulatory approval testing that cannot be fast tracked. The company has world-first significant underlying IP, protected by eight patent families across 124 key jurisdictions.

Source: Connec

Connec has an addressable market of $4.4 billion that is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% to reach $7.58 billion in 2030.

In order to rapidly achieve economies of scale, Connec is potentially partnering with Harting. Founded in 1945 and operating 14 production plants and 44 sales companies worldwide, Harting is at its core a manufacturing and distribution company with extensive access to Europe, Asia and the Americas. Utilisation of Harting’s infrastructure means Connec will have the capacity to supply top-tier clients globally such as Anglo American, with minimal capital expenditure.

Anglo American is a British multinational diversified miner, publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange with 56 mining operations across 15 countries and US$11.7 billion profit in 2021. The miner requires all HVCS to be replaced every two years across all 56 of its mines. Connec has supplied $1.4 million of connectors to Anglo to date and has won a further $7.2 million of supply contracts with two of Anglo American’s mines, with the potential to roll out the connectors to all 56 of its mines. This is projected to generate more than $65 million in annual recurring revenue for Connec.

The formation of a strategic consortium capable of a global rollout would potentially help to de-risk the opportunity. After years of developing the technology, securing patents and certifications, proving the concept and negotiating sales agreements, the business believes it is now at a key inflection point where it is ready to execute at scale.

Connec believes its all-in-one solution is a rare opportunity in commerce, where it has ample time to gain market share without competition and could ultimately become an industry standard.

Click here to be kept in the loop on Reach Markets’ deal flow.

Reach Markets have been engaged by Connec Limited and may receive fees for its services.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.


This Week’s News


8 May 2024

BHP Xplor winner coming to the ASX


16 April 2024

Gold at record highs – so why aren’t gold stocks?


22 November 2023

Rare Earths Industry Review: Part 2

General Advice Warning

Any advice provided by Reach Markets including on its website and by its representatives is general advice only and does not consider your objectives, financial situation or needs, and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. This might mean that you need to seek personal advice from a representative authorised to provide personal advice. If you are thinking about acquiring a financial product, you should consider our Financial Services Guide (FSG)

including the Privacy Statement and any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Prospectus (if one is available) to understand the features, risks and returns associated with the investment.

Please click here to read our full warning.