Whatever your opinion might be about the current state of the coal sector, there’s a silver lining setting us up for a prosperous future. And that is the continuous flood of business innovation. When the times get tough, the tough get going, and it couldn’t be truer with our coal industry.
Demands from big business to achieve new highs in productivity are shaping our industry into a lean, mean global competitor. The resources sector is seeing innovation across every part of the supply chain, from major producers to small suppliers. All round, we’re creating a more efficient operation, smoother business and more flexibility.
“Everyone still needs to dig the coal up. It’s core business. The global market is still there and it will increase as demand for energy and steel consumption grows…”
We are all well-versed in the industry’s global market pressures, high operating costs and over-supply, with the result being struggling prices for coking and thermal coal and low profit margins in Australia. Just like any business, producers have responded by reducing their spending and passing this pressure down the supply chain or risk closing the gates.
Everyone still needs to dig the coal up. It’s core business. The global market is still there and it will increase as demand for energy and steel consumption grows in line with needs throughout Asia, and a plethora of other factors. But it’s not simple.
At the latest Bowen Basin Mining Club luncheon in Mackay, the audience of contractors, operators, proponents and suppliers heard from Lucas Dow, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s Asset President. The take-home message from Mr Dow was this: Be smart. Be tenacious. Offer us something unique with a tangible bottom-line benefit and we will listen. Mr Dow reflected on the market condition as being an opportunity for better thinking and encouraged the audience to work with BMA to find better solutions.
The successful contractors today are the ones who are doing things differently and stretching the boundaries of what’s possible. When you consider the regulations, safety standards and even the economy that these contractors have to operate within, it’s no small feat.
BMA isn’t the only major miner calling the sector to deliver more innovation – it’s coming from all major operators in the Bowen Basin, right down to the smallest operations.
So we are being smarter, but there’s even more ‘smarter’ to be delivered yet. Being efficient and willing to find a better way to get the job done will set your base for the next movement in the cycle – the upswing.
Director Bowen Basin Mining Club
Jodie Currie is the Director of the Bowen Basin Mining Club operating bi-monthly functions for the mining industry in Mackay, Moranbah and Emerald. The BBMC’s mission is to connect all levels of operation, supply and service delivery within the sector to create better outcomes through the provision of up to date information on projects, and quality networking.
The club’s next event will be on Thursday 26th March at the Moranbah Community Centre, Mr Mike Grieve, Vice President Project Delivery at Arrow Energy will be the special guest speaker.
For more information regarding the Bowen Basin Mining Club and upcoming speakers and events visit www.bbminingclub.com.au.