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A report released by Australian consulting firm VCI has found METS companies are at the core of innovation in the mining sector.

The Innovation: State of Play Biennial Mining Survey 2017 Report has found METS companies are taking advantage of the global shift to digitisation and technology.

The report, sponsored by METS Ignited and UWA, is the world's largest survey in the global mining industry, surveying over 800 mining executives globally to help uncover the true performance of Australia's METS industry.

METS Ignited CEO Ric Gros said the report shows Australian METS companies were providing technologies appropriate to the global industry's needs.

"Australia's METS sector is taking advantage of the rise of international mining regions as evidenced by our growing export markets," Mr Gros said.

"Given the size and value of the global mining industry, our potential for growth if we deploy suitable and sustainable technologies, is enormous," he said.

"The overarching way for Australia's mining ecosystem to expand its competitiveness is to recognise, and build on, the role of its METS companies as leading edge solution providers, ready to work with Australian miners today.

"The State of Play report highlights the time for a concerted effort is now. Innovation is now more critical than ever".

Importance to the METS sector

The State of Play report provides Australian METS companies with a comprehensive insight into the state of the global mining and METS industry. It is a summary of interviews with industry executives from 321 companies across 60 countries.

From the report METS companies will gain an understanding of where companies are investing money and energy now and in the future, as well as the drivers for change for the sectors.

For METS companies, the report offers:

  • a holistic view of the sector that is not readily available from other sources
  • insights into where mining and services companies are investing their money and why
  • an understanding of what the drivers of change are in the sectors
  • knowledge of the processes and structures companies use to integrate innovation and how suppliers can fit in with that
  • an external view of how they can fit in to company processes but also how they can structure themselves to innovate
  • knowledge of how successful companies operate
  • an understanding of how companies invest and implement innovation.

The report, which included insights from senior executives at companies such as BHP, Anglo Platinum, AngloGold Ashanti, Fortescue Metals Group, Newcrest Mining Limited, Vale and Westfarmers Limited, is available for purchase.

A summary of the contents and list of contributors is attached.

METS Ignited Network Associates receive a 10% discount. Membership is free.

Report insights for METS

1. Different global regions are innovating to address very different needs

Given needs drive innovation, which in turn drives competitive advantage, it is important the Australian METS industry is actively involved in other mining regions.

2. Australia is used as a 'go-to' for industry research and development

Australia's deep history and expertise in mining is rewarded by being the global centre for mining innovation - however, huge investments by India and China are a threat to this status.

3. The global industry is scrambling to digitise

Australia is seen as a global leader in automation and value chain integration, however, there is a real risk that it becomes disintermediated by large global platform providers.

4. Environmental impact is driving a negative perception of the mining industry

Environmental impact is not confined to Australia, in fact, the Australian METS industry is seen as a centre of expertise globally for environmental management and technology.

5. Everyone is looking for ways to collaborate

Collaboration is seen as the most important role for government in the industry for fostering innovation, this is something we at METS Ignited are focusing on intently and greatly value your suggestions on how we can improve at this.

More fast facts

  • Companies that claim innovation is critical to their long-term survival has jumped from 37% in 2013 to 62% in 2017.
  • Australia views end-to-end optimisation as being the point in the value chain where innovation will have the greatest value in the next 15 years. This was lower than North America and South Africa, which rated extraction as the greatest value lever.
  • The majority of respondents from Australia indicated the time frame for innovation focus was three years or less.
  • Technological change and disruption, and environmental pressures will have the greatest impact on innovation in the mining sector over the next 15 years.
  • 57% believe mining companies should involve suppliers in their innovation process
  • 33% of METS companies say all employees drive innovation, not just the CEO

For more information about the report visit