Austmine and the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) have signed an MoU to strengthen the relationship between the Mining Equipment, Technology and Service (METS) sector and Australia’s major mining companies.

The MoU was signed at the Melbourne Celebrates Mining industry dinner on October 30 by Austmine chairman Alan Broome and senior vice chair of the MCA and Rio Tinto managing director, Australia, David Peever. It outlines the basis upon which Austmine and the MCA will collaborate to leverage greater efficiencies and effectiveness in industry representation, policy advocacy and technological and innovative progress in mining.

“The MoU formalizes the relationship between the Australian METS sector and Australia’s largest mining companies,” says Alan Broome. “The formal alliance has been under development for several years, but the impetus for signing the MoU now is driven by the realization that the mining industry today and in the future will be more heavily reliant on innovation and technologies to keep Australia at the lowest end of the cost curve.”

“The MoU will increase the awareness and exchange between individual mining companies and METS suppliers.  A key commitment of the MoU is the establishment of a Minerals Innovation and Technology Forum which will bring METS companies and global miners together to discuss issues, opportunities and solutions to the key challenges which the mining industry faces globally.”

MCA chief executive officer Mitch Hooke says, “The MoU is testament to the industry’s commitment to work collaboratively across organizations and sectors in the mutual objective of advancing the development of the minerals industry.”

The MoU recognizes that although Australia enjoys a global comparative advantage in minerals resources endowment, there is no guarantee of competitive strength in an increasingly globalized economy and minerals industry. Innovation and technological developments have been a fundamental and critical source of improving global competitiveness, multi-factor productivity, social and environmental stewardship and an enduring social licence to operate.

It also recognizes the symbiotic relationship and dynamic interface that METS and mining have shared. The result has been the creation of not only a highly successful mining industry, but a $90 billion, highly innovative, technologically advanced, world leading METS sector.

“Many people dwell in the belief that mining is just about the minerals that are extracted and have missed the vast high-tech, knowledge-orientated industry which is perhaps the best value-add of mining itself. This MoU reinforces the strong linkages between METS and mining and works towards the sustainability of the industry as a whole,” Alan Broome says.

Over the coming months Austmine will be developing a plan of action with the MCA to move the MoU forward. This includes the formation of an Innovation and Technology Committee and various activities related to opening up dialogue with its mining counterparts.

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