Image: Dr Guthrie said collaboration between METS and resources companies was vital to maintaining Australia’s global economic position, as well as increasing its reach as a net exporter of leading mining technologies.
BY REUBEN ADAMS
AUSTRALIA’S world-class mining and mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sectors must collaborate better to maintain the country’s global economic position, Minerals Council of Australia chair Dr Vanessa Guthrie has said.
Ahead of her talk at the Austmine 2017: Mining’s Innovation Imperative conference, Dr Guthrie said mining and METS companies were drivers of innovation and investment and generated the bulk of Australia’s export earnings.
“By collaborating and partnering at an industry level we can ensure that mining and METS continue to innovate and grow – and that, in turn, will help secure Australia’s economic prosperity into the future,” Dr Guthrie said.
“Collaboration between METS companies and our resource companies is vital to maintaining our global economic position.
“METS companies are able to be more agile and test new ideas so resource companies can rapidly adopt them in a commercial framework.”
Dr Guthrie’s speech at Austmine 2017 — titled Driving Innovation for Business Gain: An Industry Perspective — will discuss the importance of technological development to Australia’s position in the global industry, as well as its reach as a net exporter of mining technologies through Australian operators overseas.
A report released late March by Deloitte Access Economics and commissioned by the Minerals Council – Mining and METS: engines of economic growth and prosperity for Australians – estimated that the total economic contribution of Australia’s mining and mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector was $236.8 billion in 2015-16.
The report showed that the mining and METS sector accounted for about 15 per cent of the Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Regional areas where the sector made a particularly significant economic contribution included the Pilbara in WA, the Bowen-Surat region in Queensland, and the Hunter region in NSW.
According to the report, that Australia’s comparative advantage in mining and METS not only hinged on innovation; it also relied on policies to strengthen competition, support the accumulation of skills and capital, and the ability of firms to respond to changing markets.
To sustain the economic contribution of Australia’s mining and METS sector into the future, the report called on governments to provide a competitive and fair taxation system; flexible workplaces; openness to foreign investment; affordable and reliable energy; efficient approaches to regulation, especially with respect to project approvals; and support for collaboration between the mining and METS sector and research organisations.
“It is critical that governments pay heed to these key policy areas and initiate reforms where improvement is required, so that mining and METS continue to innovate and grow, helping to secure Australia’s future prosperity,” the report stated.