Caterpillar distributor Finning reported its second quarter results this week. With order intake outpacing deliveries in the second quarter, the company, which serves Canada and South America, said its consolidated equipment backlog at the end of June reached $1.4 billion, up from $1.2 billion at the end of the first quarter.

New equipment sales were up 48% from the second quarter of 2020 and up 14% from the first quarter of 2021, driven by improved market activity, mostly in construction, according to the company. Demand for new equipment continued to grow in the second quarter, with a backlog building in both mining and construction.

“Our backlog in South America includes a recently awarded order for Caterpillar support equipment from Codelco’s Andina mine, valued at US$40 million, for delivery in the first half of 2022,” Finning President and CEO Scott Thomson said. “In addition, we will be providing 27 Caterpillar R3000H underground loaders to Codelco’s Chuquicamata mine, with 10 of these machines included in our second quarter backlog.”

Finning also reported that product support revenue in the second quarter increased by 16% year over year and by 8% from the first quarter.

“Chilean mining customers have been lifting COVID-19 restrictions and returning to normal operations, driving higher parts and service revenues,” Thomson said.

The company said it also expects to see increased mining activity in western Canada, including the development of greenfield projects in the Golden Triangle of British Columbia.

“We are actively quoting on multiple requests for proposals for mining equipment and product support in hard rock mining,” Thomson said.

He also explained that the large and aging mining equipment population in western Canada is expected to drive opportunities for future fleet renewals, rebuilds and autonomy conversions, as well as continued demand for product support. “We expect about 10% of the Caterpillar ultra-class and large mining truck population in western Canada to be autonomous by the end of 2021,” Thomson said.