M&E NSW: What’s in store for 2014

According to many pundits outside of the the sector the mining industry is dead.

Coal in particular has been pointed to as a dead industry, and with the heavy reliance of New South Wales on its coal mining industry this would lead many to believe this means the State's mining industry has come to an end.

But this simply is not the case.

Domestic coal production has grown in New South Wales over the past year, in spite of weak commodity prices.

According to new statistics released by Coal Services, saleable coal production has increased by 5.7 per cent over the 2013/14 period, growing from 185 million tonnes to more than 196 million tonnes.

The report also showed in the 11 months to 21 May this year, actual coal exports from Newcastle have increased more than ten per cent, jumping from 129 million tonnes to 143 million tonnes.

The major export hubs have also grown in significance, as demand increases.

According to the China Coal Industry Association more than two thirds of Chinese coal mining com­panies are operating at a loss, as new regulations plan to lift the standard of Chinese coal mined and shut around 2000 inefficient mines by 2015.

This has led to increased demand for high quality Australian coal to meet the expected shortfall in Chin­ese domestic supply.

"This growth in production and the volume of coal exported is a good sign for economic growth in NSW," NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said.

"These [newly released] figures show demand is still strong."

Figures from the International Energy Agency have also shown that global electricity demand may double between 2009 and 2035, with coal slated to meet more of these demand than either oil or gas over the next five years.

"The NSW coal industry is well placed to make the most of this demand," Galilee stated.

"So while the local industry is experiencing short-term challenges, the long term prospects are good, provided we can continue to meet the future demand."

On the back of this strong dom­estic production in the face of weak commodity prices REEDMINING­EVENTS is set to hold its Mining and Engineering NSW Exhibition.

The biennial event, which will be held in September, will showcase the latest coal mining technology for the Hunter Valley mining region.

Paul Baker, director of REEDMININGEVENTS, described M&E NSW as being crucial for mining personnel in the Hunter Region, and mining regions throughout the state, due to the wide range of technological solutions on display and various mining community focused networking initiatives.

"As the mining industry contin­ues to transition from the investment phase to production phase, the importance of mining personnel attend­ing an industry event like M&E NSW, to ensure their mining companies are adopting the latest innovative technology, only increases," Baker said.

"However, this transition has also renewed the focus of mining companies on achieving greater productivity and improved efficiency, as means of optimising their mine site operations."

To strengthen its focus on the NSW mining industry the event has teamed up with the NSW Minerals Council.

"REEDMININGEVENTS is proud to have the NSW Minerals Council as a strategic partner for M&E NSW 2014. It is crucial that a business-to-business industry event like M&E NSW is supported by industry groups, who share a common objective of facilitating and fostering a positive future for the mining industry in NSW."

Galilee described the event as an important one of the state's mining industry.

"The NSW mining industry is a strategic asset, and major contributor to the state and nation's economy," he said.

"M&E NSW provides the sector with a fantastic opportunity to conduct face-to-face business in the administrative capital of the NSW mining sector, in Newcastle. NSW mining is strengthened by industry events that focus on providing the sector with the tools to be successful."

However it is not just the tools on show at M&E NSW.

The event will also feature, in a similar vein to other REEDMINING­EVENT mining exhibitions, a safety panel, a women in mining event, and TechTalks.

Baker explained the show's sister exhibitions' TechTalks, stating that "the TechTalks have been going very well and those sorts of innovations and new ways of doing things in terms of ideas and knowledge sharing that these suppliers have for the industry," he said.

"That's really important as the industry transitions through to production, and they're looking for those efficiencies.

"What the exhibitors are bringing to the show, it's very much more focused on the innovation side, it's not about the big equipment, it's about how they can improve current operations.

"It might be the smallest tangible change within a process which could result in a one per cent difference, and that's what it's all about, small changes that can make a difference to production." 

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