THE DRAMATIC reining in of worldwide mining expenditure has forced Austmine to delay its third international conference and exhibition showcasing Australia’s mining technology and service sector to the world.
The biennial event, originally scheduled to run from March 30-31 at the Adelaide Convention Centre in South Australia, will now be staged later this year or early in 2010.
Previous conferences in Queensland and Western Australia, held during the recent mining boom, attracted many international mining delegations including groups from South America, India, China, Africa and other parts of the world. But in the midst of major industry retrenchment announcements, project deferrals and spending cuts, Austmine has received confirmation that a number of overseas mining company delegations and speakers can’t get to Adelaide at the end of March.
The Austmine International Conference and Exhibition was conceived with the aim of bringing together these international mining leaders and representatives of Australia’s multi-billion-dollar MTS sector.
“The Adelaide exhibition is fully booked,” said Austmine chairman Alan Broome.
“Our members are committed to the event, and the board of Austmine remains committed to holding the conference and expo in Adelaide. However, at this time the rapid changes in the global mining industry have made things too fluid. The schedule of key international speakers is unsettled, and travel by big foreign mining organisations has been cancelled.
“Why diminish the prestige and importance of what has been established through a lot of hard work and commitment as the world’s major mining technology forum when it can be rescheduled so that it is better aligned with global mining conditions and the prospects of economic recovery?
“The recovery will coincide with the emergence of the technology age of mining.
“Australia is recognised as being at the forefront of this new technologically driven phase of development and growth, and Austmine remains confident of retaining the interest and support of
leading international mining groups who’ve sent big delegations to the previous shows provided we get the timing of the event right.
“This is a strategic repositioning of an event we’ve worked very hard to build and comes after a decision taken by a board of very experienced people from a number of the top companies in Australia.”
Mr Broome said the Third Austmine International Conference and Exhibition was a natural fit for South Australia, which hosts Australia’s biggest underground mine (and potentially its largest openpit operation) in Olympic Dam, some of its most important new generation projects, such as Prominent Hill (copper-gold), Carrapateena (copper) and Four Mile (uranium), widespread deep, under-cover exploration, and a growing local mining-focused manufacturing and engineering sector.
“There are something like 30 projects worth more than $AU25 billion at various stages of planning and implementation so, over time, it is a jurisdiction the world will be watching for advances in the application of new exploration, project development and operating methods,” Mr Broome said.
“Austmine is focused on maintaining the integrity and quality of the world’s premier mining technology event, and South Australia is certainly part of that focus.
“This event is about positioning Australia as a proponent and a supporter of the emerging technology age of mining.”
Austmine, the Australian Mining Equipment and Services Export Association, has more than 100 member companies exporting Australian produced mining technologies, products and services to over 80 countries. These member companies are forecast to export about $AU3.8 billion worth of equipment and services in 2009.