AIMEX 2023: A Celebration of Industry Resilience
September 10, 2023 - Asia Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX) 2023 recently wrapped up three full days of industry connection at Sydney Showgrounds, with thousands of attendees through the door to celebrate an industry that perseveres in any circumstance.
From creating enduring connections at networking events hosted by Austmine and NSW Mining, to collaborative panels and insightful speakers delivering a packed conference programme and a sold-out exhibition with over 250 exhibitors, AIMEX did not disappoint suppliers, buyers, and mining professionals searching for innovation.
Across the Transformative Technology Zone to the Mining House Pavilion and the popular, expanded Decarbonisation Zone, attendees were treated to a showcase of leading businesses, both established in supplying to the mining industry and those looking to offer new solutions.
Commodore Australia’s eye-catching green container with automated solar array was part of this year’s Decarbonisation Zone. Linden Howes, Head of Engineering for Commodore Australia + Unique Hire Off-Grid Solar, says the company chose AIMEX to exhibit their off-grid transportable solar solutions to the mining industry, because the kind of people attending were their ideal client.
“We are trying to reach more mining clients and get a further foothold in the mining industry, as our product is perfectly suited to remote sites that are traditionally difficult to power. Our fully portable solution can be on-site and powered up in a matter of minutes, with the ability to run anything from an accommodation block to a water pump or crucial lighting.”
Another Decarbonisation Zone exhibitor was global OEM XCMG Mining Equipment Australia, who showcased the XCMG XC968EV front-end loader as part of their stand. The technology is a big hit with the Australian market, as companies look to lower their emissions and save fuel costs. XCMG Mining Equipment Australia’s COO Roy Rossini says it’s all part of meeting customers’ needs by addressing industry shifts.
“Mining over the years has changed significantly. We’ve gone from a lot of old, diesel-powered to a battery-first approach, with autonomous operations also a key factor. With demand at an all-time high, the issue for most companies is the availability of supply, and we’re hearing feedback that our supply turnaround is excellent. So, from our perspective, the conversations we’ve had at AIMEX around the opportunity to assist in the growth of the sector’s green credibility is significant.”
Global supplier Danfoss was also in the Decarbonisation Zone, showcasing their products and solutions across Power Electronics and Drives, Power Solutions and Climate Solutions. Danfoss Global Business Development Director Craig Rapson said the conversations they’ve had with stakeholders across the industry have been well worthwhile.
“The mining industry sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap, and it’s seen as a challenging industry and a very energy intensive industry. However, without a ramp-up in the mining of critical resources, we will never achieve our targets in the energy transition. This means as green technology providers, we must support the mining community to deliver more greater output in a more energy-efficient manner. This means working on solutions together with the mining industry to try and help them along their decarbonisation journey, and AIMEX has been a key touchpoint with our stakeholders.”
Bosch Rexroth exhibited as part of the Transformative Technology Zone, and featured a robot that handed out promotional items to showcase the company’s autonomous and state-of-the-art eLION off-highway electrification solutions. Bosch Rexroth Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand Rod Elvin says their time at AIMEX has been well-spent.
“AIMEX this year reflects a renewed enthusiasm for the mining industry. We’ve had a fantastic few days discussing our technology with customers, as automation now plays a major factor in decisions for mining machinery. We’re finding that customer requests are much more advanced in terms of automation and electronification – it really is a game changer, this is the way of the future,” said Mr Elvin.
Innovation was not contained to the trade exhibition: the AIMEX Conference series, running over the full three days, showcased 40 speakers on topics from the metaverse and mining to electrification of mining fleets, ESG and decarbonisation opportunities, safeguard mechanism impacts and collaborative R&D with academia and industry.
In the spirit of collaboration, Adrian Beer, CEO of METS ignited, hosted a panel on Day 2 of the conference discussing collaborative R&D for technical innovation in mining. With panel participants Professor Ismet Canbulat from the University of New South Wales, Associate Professor Liza Forbes from the University of Queensland and Peter Craig from Jennmar covering both academia and supplier backgrounds, the session touched on some of the barriers to linking industry and research in order to overcome industry problems with the experts in the field, including de-mystifying IP ownership issues.
“From the mining industry, we often hear about collaborative research that the big companies like BHP and Rio Tinto engage in. We should not overlook the fact there are also plenty of small to medium companies who could benefit from collaborative research,” said Mr Beer.
“By opening up a collaborative approach to research, we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with some of our bigger customers and combine research with our industry focus on problem-solving,” said Mr Craig.
Exhibition Director Samantha Martin says this year’s AIMEX was another example of the industry’s flexibility, with a strong turnout reflecting the industry’s ability to weather ups and downs.
“We’re already looking forward to AIMEX 2025 and the return support of many exhibitors. This year’s event was a celebration of resilience, and if there’s one thing we know won’t change about the industry, it’s the can-do attitude of suppliers and supporters.”