The Association of British Mining Equipment Companies (ABMEC) held its fourth annual conference in Doncaster, UK, on 14th November, with 66 delegates in attendance. The main thrust of the conference was to address the key issues facing the global mining industry and the minerals and metal markets, which are all becoming increasingly complex and competitive.
The current state of the mining industry
Speakers covered important specific aspects of mining: Chris Hinde, editorial director of Intierra RMG, gave an overview of the current state of the minerals and metals markets around the world, the likely pattern of future world demand, and where we can expect future growth potential. He predicted a continued and growing demand for all major minerals, but particularly for copper, coal and iron ore, though coal prices had suffered in recent months.
Chris Torrens, director of Control Risks, outlined the various risk factors involved in mining development and discussed the warning signs and some of the strategies to anticipate and deal with them, rather than waiting to be the victim of events and predictable economic factors. This was supported by Jim Keir of UK Export Finance who explained the importance of working with regional export advisers to obtain the benefit of advice and support based on well-informed local knowledge.
Stuart Bennett of Mining H&S went through the essential procedures for applications to – and the likely funding to be available for new projects from – the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS), while Daniel Smith, an associate of lawyers Latham Watkins highlighted the need for expert professional legal guidance in the tricky world of commercial litigation in cases of bribery and corruption and in potential disputes on matters of negligence and insurance claims.
The practical side of mining
On the practical side, Jim Ford, principal inspector H&S, explained the importance of good mining practice and management for reducing major injuries in the mining industry. This theme was then further illustrated by David Vint, general manager of ArcelorMittal, who related examples of his company’s involvement in a wide variety of worldwide mining activities.
Finally, Paul Moore, editor of International Mining Magazine, related some of his most recent and interesting experiences and gave a detailed analysis of the innovative approach to mining in three mining case studies from Silesia, Poland.
An upturn in 2014?
Summing up the conference, Jane Isaacs, director general of ABMEC, said: “it’s been a tough time for mining equipment companies, but we predict an upturn in the market mid-2014, when our member companies will be prepared to meet demand. ABMEC will be exploring and developing new markets including Vietnam and Mongolia in 2014.”
ABMEC represents British manufacturers and service providers to the global mining industry. Its members represent approximately £800 million of export mining equipment.
Adapted from press release by Jonathan Rowland