Thursday, 13 August 2020
Russia and Chile: Where do the Opportunities Lie?
Austmine Limited

Russia and Chile: Where do the Opportunities Lie?

Austmine has recently coordinated overseas mining missions to Russia and Chile, led by our Chief Operating Officer, Robert Trzebski. In the current mining industry climate, it is important for Australian Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) companies to make themselves aware of international opportunities that can expand or support their business. Austmine has worked hard to identify these opportunities for our members, visiting mine sites and organising executive meetings in the world’s most promising mining markets. Missions have already been carried out to New Caledonia, Russia and Chile in 2016, with Mongolia, Kazakhstan, USA and Canada still to take place later this year. Austmine has put together some key insights and learnings from our recent missions below.


Like most of the world, Russia has undergone hardship with the global mining downturn. Regulations and sanctions have also been a major issue, making it difficult for the local mining companies to access buyer networks and creating challenges for Australian METS when trying to export to Russia. This has made the Russian market short-term focused, like New Caledonia, where products must be affordable and produce quick results. Austmine visited and met with key players in Russia, including Russian Copper Company, UMMC, Norilsk and Sevestal. The main opportunities in the Russian market can be categorised as follows:

  • Greater focus on safety following a recent decree of Ministry of Mining
  • Reduce inefficiencies in operations, optimise & monitor processes
  • With energy prices rising 70% in the last 5 years, any measure that will reduce usage of fuels, power and other related consumables are of great interest
  • Modernise, convert and/or introduce WiFi, fibre cable, infrared GSM communications in open-pit and U/G operations
  • Create compatibility across systems, processes, software and hardware using modern products
  • Training at all levels
  • Gold miners are doing the best


Austmine visited larger players in Chile, including Codelco, Antofogasta Minerals and Anglo American. Chile proved to be one of our most popular missions yet, with significant engagement between our members and the Chilean miners. Major opportunities in Chile lie in:

  • Water management and recycling, due to the remote and dry locations of many of the mines. Escondida have plans for a $4billion desalination plant, including 400km of pipeline, to help them solve their problems
  • Maintenance and reliability. Chile was affected like everywhere by the downturn, resulting in layoffs of highly experienced staff, leaving a knowledge gap
  • Drones and robotics for processing plant monitoring.
  • Training and education
  • Environmental management

If you are interested in learning more about Austmine’s upcoming International Mining Missions, please see the missions page on our website, or contact Robert Trzebski

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