The Asia Miner

OCT-DEC 2015

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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44 | ASIA Miner | October-December 2015 Events While lower exhibitor numbers and falling attendance at the Asia-Pa- cifc region's largest mining event, AIMEX 2015 in Sydney from Sep- tember 1-4, are indicative of diffcult times for the mining industry, it was very evident from exhibitors and attendees that more effcient production is the key to maintaining and developing business. The good interest shown in the range of technology on show aimed at optimizing and enhancing productivity was evidence that the innovations provided by mining equipment, technology and ser- vices (METS) companies have a crucial role to play in helping the mining industry overcome the current diffculties. Many mines and METS companies are tapping into the industry's tighter budget mindset by seeking productivity improvements and getting more from existing equipment. Dingo Mining CEO Paul Higgins said, "The mining companies have had a really strong retraction in what they're willing to spend. Now they're more interested in innovation." It was the frst time Dingo, which advises mining companies how to get the most out of their existing machinery, has exhibited at AIMEX. "I think the sector became a little bit complacent over the very proftable 10 years the industry has had. Changing slowly was okay during the boom but those days are gone and the industry has to change fast now to survive, which means its players have to be willing to try new ways of doing things." AT Hydraulics' manager Andrew Grant, said many mining com- panies could not afford new machinery. "We have quite a healthy repair business because people will repair instead of buying new, but new sales, where a fair bit of our proft is generated, are slowing down." AT supplies hydraulics to equipment manufacturers. There were 480 exhibitors mostly located in the main dome and linked central hall with several outside. This compared to about 650 exhibitors in 2013 in several halls and many more in fve halls in 2011. AIMEX organisers have not confrmed visitor numbers but some exhibitors estimate they were down by about 30%. The frst and last days were relatively quiet while the second and third days attracted good crowds. Larger exhibits were staged by Hitachi Construction Machinery, Cummins, Hexagon Mining, Kaltire, Boss, SEW Eurodrive, Caltex, Hella, Ryco, Ontrak Engineering and MTG/2MT. Apart from Hitachi, the major OEMs were conspicuous by their absence. Exhibitors who came to the show with high hopes were generally disappointed while most who had lower expectations were satis- fed. Most exhibitors spoken too said that although numbers were down, there had been some genuine enquiries, which had given them some encouragement. SERVICING larger markets outside Australia is seen as important for the Australian METS sector with a number of companies achieving growth by servicing markets in Asia, Africa, South America and oth- er overseas destinations. Evidence of the importance of Australian METS expertise to the global mining industry was demonstrated at AIMEX by the presence of international delegations and visitors. There was a very strong delegation from India while there were also delegations from China, Chile, Canada, Mongolia and the USA. Most delegations were assisted in their visits to Sydney by Austrade while Australian METS representative body Austmine aided in the knowledge exchange through several capability workshops. There was a very strong exhibition presence from China with com- panies from all parts of China promoting a range of mining equip- ment and services in several conspicuous blocks of booths deco- rated in red and yellow. The German 'pavilion' organized by German mining equipment association VDMA, was very well supported by METS providers while there were also US, Canadian and Chilean areas and representation from Poland, India and Russia. Overseas exhibitors were striving to increase awareness of their operations in Australia and the Asia-Pacifc region. A frst-time exhib- itor was Canadian company Kal Tire, a relative newcomer in Austra- lia. Kal Tire's Mining Tire Group senior vice president Dan Allan said, "For us the primary purpose of attendance was to gain exposure for our organization, which is establishing itself in Australia. It was about brand positioning and bringing awareness of our services and sup- port for the Australian market. "Attendee numbers were light but we saw many potential cus- tomers we didn't know before from eastern Australia. A good array of decision makers came through and it wasn't all tyre kickers, so to speak. Our ambition was to grow in the east and it was a good forum for that purpose. "Opening day was quiet but Wednesday and Thursday picked up remarkably well. We met people from Rio, Anglo, Glencore and BHP Billiton, and there were many from various organizations in the Hunter Valley which gave us a good cross section. "We are relatively new in Australia, especially in the east, and we often heard people saying 'oh, I didn't know you do that' or 'I didn't know how wide the organization is'. This was encouraging because at least they left with a new perspective." Need to service new markets There were 480 exhibitors at AIMEX 2015 in Sydney, Australia, from Sep- tember 1-4. AIMEX focus on better productivity By John Miller, editor, The ASIA Miner

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