THE MINING EQUIPMENT, TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES SECTOR: AUSTRALIA’S QUIET ACHIEVER
Australia’s resources boom has sparked a quiet revolution in Mining Equipment, Technology and Services with the METS sector now valued at more than $71 billion a new paper shows.
A public policy monograph by Don Scott-Kemmis, an innovation management and policy consultant and Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, shows that the rise of Australia’s METS sector has been an untold success story from the wider mining boom.
“With sales exceeding $71 billion in 2012 and total employment estimated at around 265,000 people, the rise of the METS sector has multiplied and diversified the benefits Australia derives from its natural resource endowment. Export revenues from the sector substantially exceed those of the wine industry and, on some measures, the automotive industry,” Professor Scott-Kemmis says.
“METS sector exports exceed $12 billion and offshore sales (including exports and offshore business) make up over a third of the METS sector’s income, making it one of the most internationalised Australian sectors.”
The development and growth of a home-grown METS sector has helped spread the benefits of the mining boom across Australia and particularly to the domestic the manufacturing industry.
Many of Australia’s thriving METS companies are based in our larger cities and towns; creating thousands of jobs in manufacturing and service industries. METS companies are also providing a significant boost to Government revenues outside the direct and significant taxation contribution from commodity exporters.
“Surveys indicate that Australia’s METS sector has grown roughly five-fold over the past 15 years so that today there are well over 270 firms, many leaders in their niche. Driven by the expansion of mining investment and production both within and outside Australia, the sector has achieved a remarkable level of internationalisation, with the majority of firms having offshore offices or subsidiaries,” Professor Scott-Kemmis says.
The scale and importance of Australia’s METS sector also puts to rest the notion that mining is a low-tech enterprise.
As Professor Scott-Kemmis says: “The wider constellation of mining-related research and innovation organisations, and the links between them, have been characterised as a “dynamic minerals innovation complex”. This is an area of international strength in the national innovation system, not well recognised due to perceptions of mining as a “commodity” industry.”
Professor Scott-Kemmis’ monograph titled How about those METS? Leveraging Australia’s mining equipment, technology and services sector is available at http://www.minerals.org.au