With India increasingly focused on growing its mining sector by modernising operations and standards, many more opportunities are being identified for Australia’s highly regarded mining sector.
India’s biennial mining exhibition, the International Mining and Machinery Exhibition (IMME), held in Kolkata from 16-19 November, attracted strong interest from the Australian mining industry.
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, engineering, technology and services (METS) suppliers at the event.
IMME is organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India’s largest industry association and premier exhibition organiser, and included the Global Mining Summit, a technical seminar which was held concurrently.
Tim Martin, Austrade’s New Delhi-based Trade Commissioner, 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, which also included a Trade and Investment Queensland sub-delegation’, said Martin.
The Australian delegation included a cross section of innovative Australian METS companies covering geomining 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largest coal producer, with annual production of over 600 million tonnes, mining practices and processes are often outdated, limiting production.
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 a billion tonnes over a five year period from 2014-15 to 2019-20.
‘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 sectors’ 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,’ said Martin.
Additional opportunities were identified in skills training, management development and R&D – areas Australia is highly regarded in.
Isaac Court, Austrade’s Trade Manager, Resources and Energy, said Austrade continues to develop strong relationships with relevant government agencies, industry associations in Australia and India, to promote and position Australia’s mining sector for future opportunities.
‘Australian METS companies have a strong global reputation, particularly in pioneering mining innovations, increase mining efficiency, productivity and safety in international jurisdictions and are well placed to assist help Indian mining industry,’ said Court.
Austrade has 10 offices in India which includes the mining hub city of Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.