Collaboration a must for mining
While technology and innovation were at the forefront of the Austmine 2015 conference in Brisbane this week, the challenge presented to all mining sector contributors was to enhance communication and collaboration. Without collaboration Australia risks losing its competitive advantage as a mining industry leader.
This challenge for mining education providers, METS (mining equipment, technology and services) firms and mining companies was raised by a number of speakers at the conference. It has also been recognised by Techenomics International, which provides state-of-the-art condition monitoring, fluid management and oil analysis services to a growing international market.
Techenomics CEO Chris Adsett said that as a METS provider the lack of communication and collaboration in Australia made it extremely difficult to reach the target market of mining companies. “Most miners have been doing very well for a long time but now the industry has hit hard times, it is very hard to get them to look outside their own silo.”
He said this was not just the case for Techenomics but for most other Australian METS providers, as was outlined during Austmine 2015.
“It was particularly encouraging to hear about the address of Rio Tinto Australia managing director Phil Edmands who acknowledged the problem from thepoint of view of a global mega mining company,” Chris Adsett said.
The Rio chief told delegates that there are many competitors for Australia’s METS sector around the world but its competitive advantage is technology and innovation. He said that stability also used to be an advantage for Australia but other jurisdictions were becoming more stable. London was now a major competitor with its strong knowledge and finance bases.
“The METS sector is being held back by a low level of collaboration within the sector at local and regional levels but particularly state-by-state. There is also a lack of collaboration with the education system and the mining sector,” he said.
In order to overcome communication and collaboration issues within the sector and with the education and mining sectors, he said a METS innovation hub was needed. “Innovations, technologies and information from METS companies would come to the hub which would then serve as a one-stop shop for mining companies. Miners could access the hub to determine whether there is technology that is of interest to them.
Phil Edmands also said collaboration was needed to help improve the image of the industry. The image is poor particularly in coal which is constantly being attacked yet is the only current realistic and cost-effective answer to the growing demands of emerging nations.
“Education providers, the METS sector and mining companies need to work together to get people to see and understand the good side of the industry,” he added.
For more information of Techenomics, please contact Chris Adsett at firstname.lastname@example.org