PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed interim authorization by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), allowing resources companies to coordinate on sourcing crucial supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Members of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and other mining associations will be able to work together to manage critical services and supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to shortages and supply chain disruptions for some critical services and supplies used by the mining sector.
The interim authorisation will help ensure Australia’s mining industry continues to operate safely and efficiently, by allowing members that have been notified to the ACCC to coordinate on the sourcing, purchase and distribution of crucial supplies and services such as health and safety equipment, logistics, equipment maintenance and consumables like fuel and explosives.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on global manufacturing and supply chains, which has created challenges for those sectors, such as mining, that are still operating and still in need of crucial equipment and services,” ACCC chairperson Rod Sims said.
“To help address these challenges, we have authorised mining companies to coordinate on a limited range of activities to help ensure they can continue to operate safely and efficiently.”
The authorisation only applies to activities relating to these critical services and supplies. It will, for example, allow companies to share inventories and manage demand for these critical services and supplies, coordinate deliveries, and share details of potential suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks needed to work in underground mines.
“Importantly, the approval does not allow mining companies to coordinate on the terms, conditions or prices in supply contracts,” Sims said.
“We are going to closely monitor the effect of these arrangements and when it is appropriate for this authorisation to be revoked.”
QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane said the ACCC authorisation would sanction cooperation between resource companies in the purchase and distribution of supplies.
"Resource companies have been working tirelessly with all governments to adhere to the strict health advice from authorities.
"The MCA and its member associations, including the QRC, have been working with the ACCC to address the supply challenges faced by industry due to the Covid-19 outbreak.”
“While these are challenging times amid the Covid-19 response, the resources industry will continue to strictly adhere to the advice of health authorities and play a central role in the economic productivity of the state and lives of all Queenslanders.”