German safety technology is very much in demand, and particularly so abroad. The mining machinery section of the German Engineering Federation, the VDMA, has therefore started a South America Initiative aimed at further expanding the trade relations with that part of the world. “Our high-quality technology helps make mines in South America safer,” said Dr. Paul Rheinländer, VDMA chairman. Accordingly, German technology and know-how will be contributing to increased safety in the Colombian mining industry, particularly in underground mining, and it will help boost extraction volumes. A strategic cooperation, as well as a partnership on safety, will also encompass technology transfer.

The mining machinery section of the VDMA expects to enjoy one of the best years in their history in 2011, with sales increasing by 32% to around €5 billion. “For us this is an all-time record, and we are tremendously pleased about it,” said Rheinländer. “As such we are one of the few sectors in Germany which have managed to continue growing during the whole crisis.” The explanation for this growth, Rhinelander explained, lies in the ever increasing demand for raw materials around the world, in particular from the emerging countries which are developing fast.

Under the motto of “Future Mining,” the VDMA has also launched a series of events at the universities which have mining faculties–Freiburg, Aachen and Clausthal—with the aim of supporting the mainly medium-sized companies in the field as they strive to meet the challenges of the future. This involves not only coordinating research activities but also, in particular, attracting young engineers. The crisis-resistant mining sector can offer them a secure future. Further information can be found at