PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland state government has outlined plans to grow the state's mining technology sector, with the aim of creating 3 000 additional jobs over the next ten years.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham released a ten-year action plan to make the state’s existing A$7-billion mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector a world leader.
Key strategies to grow the sector, which already employs 19 500 people statewide will be aimed at making it easier for companies to turn their ideas into commercial products for market, increasing collaboration between researchers, miners and METS companies so that they are all working on solutions to industry’s current pressing challenges, and upgrading METS companies’ capability in innovation, business management and marketing.
“Resources companies are under increasing pressure to provide the world with mineral and energy resources more cheaply and with better environmental outcomes,” Lynham said on Wednesday.
“Queensland’s companies are already providing the world with the know-how they need, but with the right government support, there’s so many more opportunities we can make ours.
“This action plan will lay the groundwork for the mining technology sector’s next wave of growth.”
Lynham said among the initiatives would be a Mackay innovation pilot to focus researchers, METS companies and miners on the Bowen basin.
“Local miners will identify their challenges, and the researchers and mining technology companies will work together to develop Bowen basin-specific solutions,” he said.
“If the pilot works, we will apply it in other mining technology centres round the state.”
Other initiatives will include a mentoring programme that helps companies turn their ideas into commercial product, a stocktake of the state’s existing and potential testing facilities to identify where METS companies can test their new products, processes or services, and an energy and resources technology networking statewide series to bring together miners and METS companies to share information about new technology.
A new energy-measuring tool that will help METS companies develop energy-efficient products and services, and a centre to develop management capabilities and business models for METS companies will also be developed.
The action plan is backed by a A$7-million METS-specific investment, as well the A$42-million Advance Queensland initiatives.