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42% of Australian mining leaders to increase spending in 2017-2018

According to Newport Consulting’s Mining Business Outlook Report, looking at the performance expectations of the Australian mining industry for 2017-201...

Jonathan Dyble
|Jan 25|magazine5 min read

According to Newport Consulting’s Mining Business Outlook Report, looking at the performance expectations of the Australian mining industry for 2017-2018, 42% of the country’s industry leaders are expected to increase spending throughout the period in question.

This is up from 23%, reflecting a positive and confident sentiment within the industry. In fact, Newport Consulting suggests that the number of miners showing a more optimistic outlook has increased 55% since 2015.

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Further, the survey has found that a greater proportion of this spending will be attributed to emerging technologies such as big data and automation throughout the coming year, with 21% of respondents having stated that automated systems will be a significant industry influencer during 2018.

However, as a result of the increased used of technology in the sector, Newport Consulting’s Managing Director David Hand states that the industry could face a growing skills gap.

“We spoke to many companies of all sizes that voiced concern over a widening skills gap, giving way to a pressing need to upskill and re-train the workforce. Miners must be able to meet the new digital demands of Australia’s mining future,” he said.

“Rio Tinto is a prime example of a company leading the field in this area, having recently partnered with the WA Government and TAFE Australia to provide vocational training in robotics for mining workers. The government should follow Rio Tinto’s lead to close this growing skills gap, which is occurring because of technology disruption.”

The report has run annually since 2010, serving as an independent performance checker for the Australian mining industry.