Former managing director and part-owner of Longwall Associates Australia, Peter Van lersel, is now the executive chairman of AIMEX organiser, Reed Mining Events.
Van lersel said that this year’s AIMEX, to be held at the Sydney Showground on August 20-23, was occurring at a critical time for the mining industry here and abroad.
“As global commodity prices are becoming more volatile, Australian mining companies are looking at ways of reducing their operating costs – and we’ve all seen the recent headlines highlighting contractor layoffs and even mine closures,” Van Iersel said.
“Today, miners are taking a close look at where they can increase operational efficiencies, raise productivity and achieve more with less – and AIMEX 2013 will provide an ideal opportunity for that.
“Certainly they are looking at innovative products or services that offer opportunities to increase efficiencies and reduce costs, and there’s a number of interesting examples of those that will be on show at AIMEX.
“But in many instances, it’s a case of looking for incremental changes across all their operations, which, added up, can all make a big difference in improving productivity,” he said.
AIMEX 2013 will feature offerings from equipment management systems and services, IT, engineering and fabrication services, key areas where companies can improve cost-effectiveness.
There will also be an increased focus on alternative sources of supply, particularly equipment from China.
Interest in these alternative supply sources has increased for a number of reasons, Van Iersel said.
“Inquiries for equipment sourced out of China are becoming stronger and stronger all the time. A key reason is pricing. It can be up to 35% cheaper than equipment from more traditional markets,” he said.
“Another driver is the increasing number of ‘two-way’ deals, where a mine will sell coal or iron ore to a Chinese customer and look to purchase the end-products resulting from the commodities being supplied.
“Many mines, from the major mining houses to the smaller players, are starting to strike these sorts of deals.
“In addition, the quality is getting better all the time, every bit as good as what’s available from more traditional sources of supply.
“AIMEX, with a number of suppliers from China, eastern Europe and other developing markets, will be an ideal venue to see this equipment and talk to manufacturers and their representatives about opportunities in this market,” he said.
AIMEX 2013 will have more than 600 exhibitors covering a total exhibition area of more than 45,000sq.m.