WITH India increasingly focused on growing its mining sector by modernising operations and standards, more opportunities are being identified for Australia’s mining sector. This was evidenced during India’s biennial mining exhibition, the International Mining and Machinery Exhibition (IMME), in Kolkata from November 16-19.
Austrade, Geoscience Australia, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, and the governments of New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia partnered to support Australian mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) suppliers at the event.
IMME is organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India’s largest industry association, and included the Global Mining Summit, a technical seminar.
Austrade’s New Delhi-based trade commissioner Tim Martin said this year’s delegation was the largest ever to attend IMME since Austrade’s first mission in 2004. “More than 40 companies across the mining supply chain participated at IMME 2016, many first-time visitors, who also benefited from Australia’s status as the event’s ‘Partner Country’. In total 93 individuals representing 43 organisations attended, including a Trade and Investment Queensland sub-delegation.”
The Australian delegation included a cross section of innovative Australian METS companies covering geo-mining services, mining IT, contract mining, mining machinery, equipment and components, mineral beneficiation equipment and components, explosives, environmental technologies, mining safety and mining skills training.
While India has the world’s fourth largest coal reserves and is the world’s third largest coal producer, with annual production of over 600 million tonnes, mining practices and processes are often outdated, limiting production.
Tim Martin said given the pivotal role the mining sector plays in India’s infrastructure and economy, the government recently announced ambitious plans to more than double coal production to around 1 billion tonnes over a five year period from 2014-15. ‘To achieve this, there is growing demand for technology and innovative solutions to address these imbalances to meet set targets.
“Australia’s mining capabilities are well regarded within Indian mining circles, particularly as Australia is seen as a natural partner to help India improve its mining safety, environmental impact and output records.
“Participating delegates demonstrated how they are able to provide innovative solutions and also met with key players to gain first-hand insights about other opportunities – particularly in areas of safety and innovative technology that can operate in harsh conditions.”
Additional opportunities were identified in skills training, management development and R&D – areas Australia is highly regarded in.