By Courtney Pearson
RESOURCES companies need to collaborate to push through the lower commodity prices and create a more productive and innovative industry, according to Anglo American group director of technical and sustainability Tony O’Neill.
Speaking at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne, Mr O’Neill said that the rise in costs and declining grades meant that the industry needed to resolve the conflict between long-term investment and short-term market cycles.
“We are on the brink of a new machine age, our challenge is how to harness this opportunity when our industry is lagging behind others,” he said.
“We won’t be able to catch up by going it alone – we need collaboration, partnerships and sharing of ideas across industries.”
The theme of collaboration has been a staple of conferences for the past year, with a number of major companies such as BHP Billiton pushing for the industry to work together.
Mr O’Neill said the industry would benefit from sharing ideas so companies could utilise them in their own way.
“We believe we will gain greater advantage from how we individually leverage these technologies, not through maintaining intellectual property rights,” he said.
Also speaking at IMARC, Victorian Energy and Resources minister Lily D’Ambrozio said that despite the mining downturn, the state would still come out strong.
“While there is a downturn in mining exploration and construction, Australia is entering the biggest mining production boom in history, with Victoria set to benefit as the country’s largest exporter of mining equipment, technology and services (METS),” she said. Victoria has about 1900 METS businesses operating across the state and employing 21,000 people, while more than 100 mining and resources companies are based in Melbourne.