04/03/2009 - 22:00

Building Indonesian connections

04/03/2009 - 22:00

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Thirty Western Australian mining services companies were in Indonesia last week for the annual Ozmine Conference, which aims to align Australian suppliers with the Indonesian mining industry, delivering positive results for those involved.

Building Indonesian connections
EYE-OPENER: Gavin Craske found Ozmine a valuable experience. Photo: Grant Currall

Thirty Western Australian mining services companies were in Indonesia last week for the annual Ozmine Conference, which aims to align Australian suppliers with the Indonesian mining industry, delivering positive results for those involved.

More than 80 Australian groups participated at the trade show and conference, organised by Austrade, up from 45 in 2008.

Indonesia is Australia's fourth largest trading partner in the Association of South-East Asian Nations group, with two-way trade valued at $10.3 billion in 2007-08.

According to the Indonesian Ministry for Energy and Mines, Indonesia will produce 225 million tonnes of coal this year.

One mining services company hoping to take advantage of this healthy relationship is Wangara-based specialised mining equipment repairs and maintenance group, Allmine WA, which currently employees 30 staff and generates an annual turnover of approximately $5 million.

Speaking to WA Business News from Indonesia, Allmine WA business development manager Gavin Craske said his company's maiden participation at Ozmine was invaluable for his growing organisation.

"We wanted to come ourselves and have a look and see if there were any products or services we could offer the mining industry over here ... and perhaps see if we could set up an alliance or distributorship up here to get some of our in-house products out into the market," Mr Craske said.

"In the couple of days we've been here, there's certainly been a lot of interest in our products and where we may be able to help and a few ideas they perhaps haven't seen or heard of before."

And the level of interest is not restricted to foreign mining outfits.

"It's given us quite a few leads back home," Mr Craske said.

"We've met people over here who haven't heard about us in other parts of Australia, like Queensland, and are quite interested in our products and the way we do things and how we operate.

"And a lot of those companies based in Australia also have operations over here [in Indonesia] so that will work in together hopefully."

Fellow Ozmine participant and mining software provider, Gemcom Software, with a global workforce of 300 and $50 million turnover, has been doing business in Indonesia since the late 1990s.

Gemcom's Asia Pacific sales manager, Ben Furquharson, believes there are no signs of this slowing.

"We've grown in terms of our business from one or two licences back then to over 100 customers now," Mr Furquharson said.

"The great thing about this country is that it's a mineral-rich country.

"They need thermal coal and Indonesia has that in large doses; it's a rich country, in fact it exports more thermal coal than Australia does.

"And because of its location, close to places like China, Japan and Malaysia it has a competitive advantage in terms of shipping costs."

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