National METS Survey 2015 Results: New Realities, Bigger Horizons
This highlight report is based on the key findings of a survey conducted of the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector in Australia. This is the second major national METS survey of its kind undertaken, with the first survey being completed in 2013. The survey received responses from representatives of 432 METS sector companies, and was conducted online between April and June 2015.
The survey was a follow-up to the 2013 work in order to assess how the sector was tracking in the current climate of the mining downturn. While the survey sought to capture key characteristics of the sector in order to validate some of the 2013 findings, its main focus was to assess the impact of the changing mining market and to take a more in-depth look at key industry drivers including innovation, internationalisation and core competencies.
The results of the survey show a sector experiencing significant challenges. The majority of METS firms have reported negative impacts on their business due to the mining downturn, including a decrease in revenue, a decrease in employees and a decrease in profitability.
Despite this, the sector is highly resilient as firms are involved in several phases of the mining lifecycle, work across a number of commodities, have diversified into other industries, and are exceptionally globally focussed. Most firms acknowledge that the new realities faced today will continue for some time and so they are exploring new opportunities, diversifying their businesses even further and are looking at bigger horizons.
Innovative SME manufacturers still form the backbone of the METS sector and specialist capabilities are emerging in areas such as mine maintenance, underground mining, project management, materials handling, asset management and mineral processing. This is underpinned by a focus on productivity and overall operational improvement, placing Australian METS at the forefront of solving today’s current industry challenges.
Austmine managed and coordinated the survey project which has been funded by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Market research company Colmar Brunton conducted the survey and analysed the findings. Austmine worked closely with a number of State Government Departments on this project which provided input into the survey and helped in its distribution.
Austmine would like to thank the many METS companies that took part in the survey. Research such as this is an important part of the development of the sector and will contribute to a robust future.
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