The Queensland Mining and Engineering Expo has wrapped up for another two years, having celebrated its 21st birthday on Wednesday last week.
The bi-annual event began in Mackay 21 years ago, and event director Paul Baker of Reed Mining Events was joined by Mackay mayor Deirdre Comerford in celebrating the event, and the cutting of a dump truck cake.
Baker said the event was established in 1993, and since then had grown into the second biggest mining show in Australia, beside AMEX in Sydney.
“But in terms of regional mining shows this is by far the biggest in Australia, within the region even, within South East Asia,” he said.
“It’s a prominent show which is well established, well attended, and right in the heart of the mining industry in Queensland.
“It’s an industry hub here in Mackay, it has the port access for exports to go overseas, it has the coal mines, this is the ideal place to have the event and 21 years is a pretty good track record.”
Baker told Australian Mining that the main focus event appeared to have steered away from large machinery, and towards improved efficiencies.
“There’s a lot of different machinery this year,” he said.
“In terms of the processing products, we’re seeing a lot of systems that have increased efficiency, in water management there’s particular pumping systems that have lower fuel consumption, and energy efficiencies, there’s also a lot of solar this year, solar powered systems are becoming more and more important as technology improves.
“The fact that when the mine sites are in a remote location and infrastructure is not there, this presents a massive cost to mining companies, so they need to be as energy efficient and as self-sustaining as possible, which is better for their bottom line at the end of the day.”
Baker said the 2014 expo was a statement of the mining industry’s resilience and commitment to maximising the success of the production phase during a tough time for the industry, with exhibitors quite pleased about the extensive number of business contacts made, and new opportunities generated over the course of the week.
“The power of face-to-face business and the opportunity to conduct business in such a manner cannot be underestimated, which is why QME 2014, albeit being held during tougher industry conditions, received highly positive feedback from our exhibiting suppliers and numerous attendees.”
Visitor numbers to QME 2014 showed that industry decision-makers had come to QME 2014 to take advantage of the opportunity to source the latest technology & innovation from over 600 exhibitors, with 20 per cent of attendees from senior management roles, 11 per cent operations or operators, 8 per cent from maintenance, and 11 per cent were Engineers.
Around 220 exhibitors at QME 2014 were exhibiting at the show for the first time.
Baker said his discussions during the expo suggested that many of the visitors and partners described the sheer number of exhibitors this year as surpassing their initial expectations, as they 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.” Baker said.
“The Meet the Buyer programme was a highly successful component of QME this year, buyers and decision-makers from mining companies were highly impressed with the quality of the new innovative suppliers they were able to meet with over all three days of QME 2014.
“This is a testament to the calibre of solutions on offer at QME 2014 that focused on driving ‘better mining’ operations and mine site performance.”