Austmine has been awarded a grant from the Buy Australian at Home and Abroad initiative (Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education) to conduct a major study of the Australian mining equipment technology and services (METS) sector.
The study, which will be carried out over 12 months, will survey METS sector companies, analyse the sector's contribution to the Australian economy and will lead to the development of strategies to support and grow the sector.
Recent figures from a HighGrade survey (FY2011, 162 companies participating) value the sector at $43.1bn, of which $15.4bn is generated from export earnings. The same survey shows that the sector employs almost 150,000 people.
"One main stumbling block to understanding our sector, and then supporting it, is that there has not been consensus about who is actually a METS company," said Robert Trzebski, executive officer, Austmine. "The first challenge of this project will be to define the sector to ensure its full economic impact can be captured."
"A steering committee has been formed to help us do this and then guide the study over the 12 months. We are pleased to be working with the Industry Capability Network, the Minerals Council of Australia, MESCA, Austrad , Enterprise Connect and the Bureau of Resources & Energy Economics. A number of private sector company representatives are also contributing, including Elizabeth Lewis-Gray from Gekko Systems, Bob Calvert from Haulmax, and Tim McLennan from the International Energy Centre. Christian Larsen, executive director at Runge, and the newly appointed supplier advocate for industrial, precious and specialty minerals is also part of the team."
"We often refer to what is happening in our sector as the silent boom, as METS companies are thriving but very little attention is paid to our success as we are lumped together with mining or not recognised at all. The sector is successful, however, not just because of the resources boom, but because it is a world-class, highly competitive industry which has become the benchmark for like industries around the world. It is driven by innovation, pioneering thinking and exporting. We may have an advantage in becoming the best with our wealth of natural resources in this country. However, you don't stay the best, particularly in this globalised world, without deserving to be there," Trzebski said.
"This is an exciting project as it will allow our 'boom' to be heard and will explore a number of our key success factors that will not only be expanded by our sector, but can be shared with and emulated by other industries as well. The project findings will be presented at Austmine 2013 in Perth in May 2013," Trzebski said.
Austmine is Australia's leading association of the Australian mining equipment technology and services sector. It promotes the global advancement of technology and innovation in mining.