The resources industry in Australia relies on many factors to keep it steaming ahead and providing thousands of Australian mining jobs.
The most important factor in the entire business development process is the customer.
New business development in the mining industry is the key to preserving existing Australian mining jobs, as well as setting the foundation for new investment in the sector.
Looking at the latest visit to Australia by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, we can see there has been a strong interest in consolidating trade agreements.
“Japan is Australia’s second-biggest trading partner,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said. “Australia is a trading nation, and more trade means more jobs.”
Noticeably, the mining and resource sector exports to Japan have been on the agenda. Mainstream media does not report these benefits to the wider mining community. The average mine worker is unaware of the underlying benefits of these types of trade deals with governments as well as with individual mining companies like BHP and Rio Tinto.
As iMINCO is a mining information provider, we see it as beneficial to point out some of the reasons to be upbeat about Australian mining jobs as a result of these latest talks with Japan.
Japan is Australia’s second-biggest trading partner
Japan is one of those typical Asian island nations that has a huge population and immense manufacturing industry. One of the biggest issues facing Japan is access to its own natural resources. The distinct lack of resources means countries like Japan must look to resource-rich countries like Australia to supply raw materials to keep their economy moving ahead.
Australian resources like iron ore, coal and other metals are likely to be the topic of new discussions, with a view to shoring up future agreements on supply and pricing.
Rio Tinto shows off its ‘Mine of the Future’
Mr Abe also headed to Western Australia’s iron ore rich Pilbara region to see for himself the true scale of Australian mining in action. He met with Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh and iron ore chief executive Andrew Harding as they toured Rio Tinto’s West Angelas iron ore mine.
Rio Tinto has been utilising Japanese technology for many years, which has been pivotal in its push to create its vision for the Rio Tinto version of the ‘mine of the future’ using advanced wireless control systems and automation processes.
“Under our ‘Mine of the Future’ program, Rio Tinto operates the most sophisticated mining technology in the world, with state-of-the-art equipment from Japan at the core,” Sam Walsh, Rio Tinto’s chief executive said.
Given Japan is one of Rio Tinto’s biggest customers they were keen to demonstrate why they are world leaders in mining technology and showcase how their highly skilled employees keep Rio Tinto at the forefront of production, technology and safety.
A new era begins in mining sector relations with Japan
Other high-profile Japanese business leaders are also part of the entourage who are looking to Australia to top up of the resource-poor nation’s supplies.
“Japan could provide new opportunities for Australian businesses”
The Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to Australia has led many people ‘in-the-know’ to suggest that despite years of struggling, economic growth in Japan could provide new opportunities for Australian businesses.
Scott Barklamb, of the Australian Mines and Metals Association, said this new trade agreement strengthens ties with Japan and is a significant milestone for the Australian resource industry, which at the moment contributes around 80 percent of total exported goods to Japan.
Prime Minister Abbot has affirmed new deals with Japan will cut or remove tariffs for coking coal, unalloyed nickel, petroleum oils, aluminium hydroxide and titanium dioxide. Mr Abbott said the deal marked a new era for a solid trade relationship between the two countries.
In terms of export proof, mining giant BHP Billiton recently celebrated a monumental milestone where the billionth tonne of iron ore was shipped to Japan.
Australian LNG exports to Japan worth 70 billion dollars in 2013
LNG is also a big winner in the export market to Japan, with a recent report from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade indicating that LNG trade is estimated to be somewhere in the region of 70 billion dollars in 2013.
With the three new LNG processing plant set to come ‘on-line’ in 2015, we can expect that figure to grow significantly.
The deal could also pave the way for more Japanese investment in Australia’s agriculture land and businesses, with the threshold for foreign investment scrutiny lifted from 423 million to more than $1 billion per investment.
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