Last week, Epiroc’s Q2 2018 results published on July 19 were indicative of the general upward mood in mining. Orders received increased 21% to SEK 10,483 million, corresponding to 18% organic growth. The strongest order growth was achieved in the Equipment & Service segment. Orders received increased in all geographic regions with the exception for North America where orders were down slightly compared to a strong Q2 2017. South America closely followed by Africa/Middle East had the highest growth rates in the quarter. Mining customers represented approximately 70% of orders received.In more detail on the orders received for Equipment & Service increased by 26% to SEK 7,947 million, corresponding to 22% organic growth. Geographically, orders received increased in all regions. South America outperformed the other regions in relative terms with a very strong order intake, which included a number of large orders for underground equipment. Equipment had an organic growth of 31% and orders received amounted to SEK 4,234 million. The demand for equipment from mining and infrastructure customers developed favourably with similar organic growth rates for underground and surface equipment. Most of the orders from mining customers continued to relate to expansion in or adjacent to existing mines rather than to replacement. The service business increased its orders received by 14% organically to SEK3,713 million as a result of a positive market development and additional marketing and sales activities.Per Lindberg, Epiroc President and CEO stated: “The customer demand for our equipment and services continued to be strong in all geographic regions, with particularly high order growth in South America and Africa/Middle East. The demand for equipment from our mining and infrastructure customers developed favorably, both for underground and surface applications. For mining, most of our equipment orders continued to be for expansion in existing mines. For infrastructure, orders for both rock drilling equipment and hydraulic attachments grew at a healthy pace. In addition, our aftermarket for service and rock drilling tools had a positive development in nearly all of our markets. Also, we note that the demand continues to be healthy in the beginning of the third quarter.” He added: “I am pleased to see that we were able to increase our equipment deliveries compared to the first quarter. We continued to ramp up our capacity, including increased third-party final assembly in order to maintain our agility and asset utilisation.”Epiroc mentioned its new partnership with LKAB (Europe’s largest iron ore producer), ABB, Combitech and ABVolvo to set a new world standard for sustainable mining. In the partnership, new technology will be developed andtested in a real mining environment as well as in a virtual mine. Epiroc will contribute with autonomous and battery-operated products and digital solutions that improve productivity and safety in the mines. The project is a multi-year initiative.Innovations launched in the quarter include the Minetruck MT2010 Battery, the newest machine in Epiroc’s fleet of electric-powered equipment, a truck specially built to transport heavy loads of up to 20 t through narrow underground passages. The battery can be replaced in a few minutes or quickly charged. The diesel-free powertraineliminates harmful particles and gas emissions and generates less noise and waste heat, providing a quieter and healthier work environment.The Serpent Automatic is an automatic version of the Serpent ventilation system. The system optimises air quality, air flow and energy expenditure automatically. Sensors regularly measure carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels to determine air quality, “then automatically adjust fan speed to ensure adequate airflow and a perfectly regulated underground work environment.”The V-LOK No Weld Clamp is a new system for holding various pieces of the drill string together. It increases safety and productivity by eliminating the need for welding, grinding and hot permit, is easily assembled and replaces the current set-up where weld tabs is used to keep the joint together.