The resource sector is going gangbusters, and while that throws up a challenge for businesses exposed to it, it is at least a known challenge: how to engage with the boom before the miners get their act together and lift supply to a point where prices moderate.
Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese summed it up at Rio’s annual meeting in London on Thursday night when he said miners were paying the price for years of underinvestment before the boom.
They did not do enough exploration, did not train enough people, did not really consider basically that demand might keep surging. It did, and while the boom is mature, it’s continuing under the pull of China’s transformation into an industrialised consumer economy.
Albanese told Rio’s shareholders that the boom that China is leading means the world is probably going to consume as much copper in the next 30 years as it did in the past 10,000 years, and in a New York speech this week Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens offered some statistics of his own.
China has lifted its share of global economic output from less than 4 per cent in 1990 to 13 per cent, and between 1990 and 2009 it lifted the employed population by 130 million – to 780 million – close to the total number of employed workers in the US.
China produced about 50 million tonnes of steel in 1990. Now it produces that much every month, nine times more than the US and more than the rest of the world combined. Almost all of it is for domestic consumption in the biggest building and infrastructure expansion in history. Electricity generation has also tripled in a decade, to the point where China generates more power than the European Union.
Huge surge in demand from China
This unprecedented and, for the miners, unplanned-for surge in demand has resulted in serious supply bottlenecks, not just for the commodities themselves, but for the resources miners need if they are to locate, define and extract them.
Financing development is no longer a prime issue, Albanese told the annual meeting. Instead, Rio is finding itself in intense competition for increasingly scarce human and mineral resources, particularly in commodity hot spots like the Pilbara iron ore province in Australia’s north-west.
Learn more about the Bowen Basin mining location.
The Bowen Basin contains the largest coal reserves in Australia. This major coal producing region contains one of the world’s largest deposits of bituminous coal.
The Basin contains much of the known Permian coal resources in Queensland including virtually all of the known mineable prime coking coal. It was named for the Bowen River, itself named after Queensland’s first Governor, Sir George Bowen.
The Bowen Basin covers an area of over 60,000 square kilometres in Central Queensland running from Collinsville to Theodore and is dotted with many coal mines operated by multiple mining companies.
Caterpillar Haul truck 793
The 793F has a load cpacityof 226.8 ton (US) and a top speed of 60 kilometres an hour. It's a turbocharged air-to-air aftercooled diesel engine that has enhanced power management capability for maximum hauling performance. The C175-16 is a 16-cylinder, four-stroke design that uses long, effective power strokes for optimum efficiency.
The 793F, is an autonomous-driven truck. Over 100 793F trucks are now operating via Command for hauling, the Cat autonomous truck operations system, which is a part of Cat MineStar™
Read more about the CAT 793 automomous mining dump truck on our website.
Resources and Infrastructure Industry (RII)
Commonly refered to as Black Coal Competency (BCC), the RII competency is one that can be attained by an operator who has previously worked in the industry and has completed a number of operating hours on various types of machinery.
RII competency is granted to prove correct and safe operation of mine site machinery. It is a very useful qualification to have, as it confirms the operator has the required experience and expertise.
You can transfer your nationally recognised civil Excavator, Front End Loader or Dozer tickets only to RII Black Coal Competencies.