A Word from Austmine's CEO: Christine Gibbs Stewart Summarises 2015
As 2015 draws to a close, I wanted to take a look back over what has been an exciting last 12 months from an Austmine perspective.
First and foremost, we have been delighted to welcome on board over 120 new members during 2015. With our member base growing, and the increased support from industry, we are able to advocate even more on behalf of the METS sector, employ more resources to liaise with the mining companies and deliver more services and value to our members.
Austmine 2015: Transforming Mining was Austmine’s biggest and best conference to date. Taking place on 19 – 20 May in Brisbane, QLD, over 600 senior mining, METS, government and research executives gathered to share case studies, ideas and strategies for improving innovation and collaboration in our industry. Our next conference will take place in May 2017 in Perth, WA and keep an eye on our website for more details when they become available in the new year!
Throughout the year, we led missions to Canada (PDAC), Mongolia, Russia, New Caledonia, Kazakhstan and Vietnam & Cambodia, organising senior executive discussions, mine site and head office visits for our members with the leading mining companies and Government officials in those countries. Opportunities were discovered, business was done, new working relationships were forged and our international calendar for 2016 is even more exciting. A special thanks to Austrade for their partnership and support for these missions.
Meanwhile, in July 2015 we were very pleased to welcome seven new team members to deliver the Entrepreneurs’ Programme. This programme, funded by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, seeks to support SME Australian businesses through improving business performance. Our new team members are located in Perth, Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Brisbane and Mackay and are experience resources professionals who have helped hundreds of clients improve their business through this programme.
August 2015 saw the publishing of the results of our National METS Survey. With over 400 participating companies, this was a follow up to our flagship survey conducted in 2013 and focused on how METS were adapting and evolving in order to deal with the “new market norm” of lower commodity prices and a mining’s focus on OPEX. The results provided much food for thought and are helping to shape our ongoing strategy and program for members and the METS sector in general.
Our networking events throughout the year brought together over 2000 mining and METS executives, featuring presentations from senior managers at Whitehaven Coal, Gold Fields, Glencore, CMOC Northparkes, Centennial Coal, Resolute Mining, Metro Mining and several others in SA, QLD, NSW, WA and VIC. Our member-only breakfasts and lunches also allowed exclusive access to companies such as Caledon Coal, Lincoln Resources, Drake Resources, Liebherr, Tigers Realm and many more.
Our AGM in October saw our existing Chair, Elizabeth Lewis-Gray step down in order to focus on her new role as Chair of METS Ignited, but remaining on the Austmine board. We welcomed Alexander Kachellek, Managing Director of Korvest, as our new Chair after several years of serving on the board as a Director.
IMARC 2015 took place in November in Melbourne, VIC and was an even better event than 2014. Over 2200 attendees came through the conference and exhibition over the 3 days and as a Foundation Partner, Austmine were particularly excited to host our member-only networking events; our VIP Evening on the Tuesday welcomed 140 attendees from our members and mining companies around the world, and our Meet the Miners speed networking session on the Wednesday provided access to senior decision makers from mining companies Oyu Tolgoi, Anglo American, Codelco and Mitsui.
The METS Ignited Growth Centre was launched in October. Austmine has been working on this concept for over 2 years and it is great that our sector is being recongised as a key driver for the Australian economy. As always, we are committed to ensuring that our members get the most out of these intiatives and we will keep you updated on developments.
Finishing up the year, we are very proud to be launching an Australian first, in the form of Austmine’s Innovation Mentoring Program. This program is the first to focus on innovation at a professional development level in the METS sector as it will address the nuances and unique challenges our sector faces. With mentors confirmed from the highest calibre of experience, the program kicks off in February 2016 and promises to help support and secure our next generation of innovators.