The Queensland Mining and Engineering Exhibition has come to an end for this year, with the event showing the development of the industry despite depressed markets.
The first day of the Queensland Mining Expo was regarded as a great success, with Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney as guest of honour to open the show.
Seeney was accompanied by chief govt whip Vaughan Johnson and MP Jason Costigan.
In their tour of the expo throughout the day, the Queensland state members met with a number of businesses exhibiting at the show, including Mackay airport, the Resource Industry Network (MAIN), Comlek, CPE, and Rapid Crushing and Screening.
Highlights of the first included a safety panel discussion on transitions to production phases and issues facing inexperienced, or cleanskin workers.
The Queensland Government together with Resource Industry Network also ran a panel on innovation and leadership in the resources sector, a discussion which was hosted by local ABC radio presenter Kim Kleidon.
A spokesperson for QME said the event was attended by around 70 people, with questions from the floor showing a great deal of audience participation.
Throughout the day the expo hosted 114 safety focussed suppliers; 95 suppliers of electrical products and systems for improving efficiency; 63 suppliers marketing conveyor equipment technology; and over 85 suppliers showcasing material handling solutions
Day two of the event saw busier traffic despite the apparently depressed state of the Australian mining industry.
Event director Paul Baker of REEDMININGEVENTS said he was satisfied with the turnout and level of activity at the show compared with the first day.
"It's definitely busier than yesterday, so its been pretty steady," he said.
"It's good to see lots of visitors still travelling the halls and pavilions, so its been quite a good day.
"At the end of the day, as long as the exhibitors are happy and making really good business contacts, that's what its all about."
Last night QME celebrated it's 21st birthday, inviting all exhibitors to join them for a party at the Mackay Convention Centre.
Baker was joined by the mayor of Mackay, Dierdre Comerford, in cutting a spectacular dump-truck cake for the guests.
Wednesday held a number of highlights, according to Baker, including Channel 7's Sunrise program doing live weather broadcasts from the show in Mackay.
"We've had a lot of media coverage around the event as well which has been pretty exciting, and helps to highlight the industry in a good light," he said.
Baker said another one of the main highlights was the Women in Mining day, which included a panel discussion on women's issues within the industry with and 'Bubbles and Boots' networking session.
"It's quite a successful initiative- We had a full house in terms of the panel session," he said.
Guest speakers on the panel included Jodanna Pullen (commercial key account manager for Puma Energy), Leah Ross (Thiess mining superintendent at Curragh North and winner of the outstanding operator award at the 2014 Queensland Resources Council Resource Awards for Women), and Kym Clark (CEO of She's Empowered), with Lainie Anderson (director of Mining Family Matters) as panel moderator.
Baker said he thought this year's expo was quite different to last year in terms of focus leaning towards production innovation, demonstrated by the subject matter of the Tech Talks held by various companies throughout the day.
"The Tech Talks 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 exibitors are bringing to the show, it's very much more focussed 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 thing, the smallest tangible change within a process which could result in a one per cent saving difference, and that's what it's all about, small changes that can make a difference to a large production line and product cycle."
On wrapping up the show Baker said "many of the visitors and partners labelled the sheer number of exhibitors this year as surpassing their initial expectations and were surprised at the size of QME considering the tough sector conditions".
"It is highly pleasing that QME confirmed its status as the largest regional business-to-business mining industry event in Australia, with both attendees and suppliers viewing the trade exhibition as a platform for the industry to become more operationally efficient and productive."
QME will return to Mackay in 2016, occurring in the off year now held by REEDMININGEVENT's massive AIMEX event.