With mining companies looking at ways of increasing efficiency and reducing operating costs, Australia’s largest mining exhibition, Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition – AIMEX, will offer a unique opportunity to see the latest innovations, products and services to achieve these aims. At Sydney Showground from August 20-23, AIMEX 2013 will have more than 600 exhibitors covering an exhibition area of more than 45,000 square metres.
Reed Mining Events executive chairman Peter Van Iersel says this year’s exhibition is occurring at a critical time for the mining industry, both in Australia and globally. A former director of the Resource Technology Centre, part of the Commonwealth Government’s Enterprise Connect division, he has had more than 40 years’ experience working at all levels of the Australian mining industry. He has held senior executive roles with global mining equipment manufacturers, and been involved in the export of mining equipment to China.
“As global commodity prices become more volatile, Australian mining companies are looking at ways of reducing operating costs – and we’ve all seen the recent headlines highlighting contractor layoffs and even mine closures,” he says. “Today, miners are taking a close look at where they can increase operational efficiencies, raise productivity and achieve more with less – and AIMEX 2013 will provide an ideal opportunity for that.
“Certainly they are looking at innovative products or services that offer opportunities to increase efficiencies and reduce costs – and there’s a number of interesting examples of those that will be on show at AIMEX. But in many instances, it’s a case of looking for incremental changes across all their operations – which added up, can all make a big difference in improving productivity,” he says.
Key areas where miners are looking to improve the cost-effectiveness of their operations include equipment management systems and services, IT, engineering and fabrication services, and alternative sources of supply – all offerings featuring at AIMEX 2013.
“Equipment management is becoming critical to reducing costs,” Peter Van Iersel says. “Capital expenditure is under constant review, with mining companies looking to get more life out of their existing equipment – so those companies offering repair and maintenance services, equipment monitoring solutions and fleet management services are seeing good demand for their services.”
IT is another area where miners are looking to bring in incremental cost reductions across the board. “AIMEX will see a number of IT-related offerings that will help miners improve efficiency and cut costs,” he says. “These include mine management, asset management and process control systems, as well as systems designed to assist SMEs who are engaged as subcontractors or suppliers. For example, a number of miners are starting to insist that their suppliers adopt ERP systems that fully integrate their operations, and get a better handle on their cost structures.”
Engineering services is another area that is thriving in today’s cost-competitive mining marketplace – and firms offering such services will have a strong presence at the exhibition. “Small to mid-sized engineering and fabrication specialists, those supplying structures, parts and components to the mining industry, are doing extremely well. And those companies offering such services need to be coming to this event, as it will be an ideal opportunity to network with existing industry players and hunt out new opportunities,” he says.
Another increasingly significant area of interest is in equipment sourced from developing markets – particularly China. Again, some significant players in the Chinese-built mining equipment market are exhibiting at AIMEX.