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It’s “survival of the fittest” for companies competing in Australia’s mining industry

Cameron Vorias, Managing Director of Sojitz Coal Mining, told delegates at Coaltrans India 2014 that he had gotten the impression from many of them that they viewed the Australian mining industry as being quite “closed”.

Cameron Vorias, Managing Director of Sojitz Coal Mining, told delegates at Coaltrans India 2014 that he had gotten the impression from many of them that they viewed the Australian mining industry as being quite “closed”.

In particular, their concerns were around the fact that labour relations were difficult in comparison to other parts of the world as well as coming into difficulties in terms of overall costs and access to rail and ports.

“That may have been the case two or three years ago, particularly during the mining boom,” said Mr Vorias, who is based in Brisbane, Australia and has worked in the industry for over three decades.

 “Everyone was clambering for rail and port access. Everybody wanted the skills base. People were moving from mining site to mining site for $1 an hour or $2 an hour. It became very difficult to get resources and the skills base to actually keep the mines going. As a result, we’ve seen cost increases.”

However, he believes that is all starting to change amid the downturn in the nation’s mining sector.

“It’s now survival of the fittest. We have to change our ways. We cannot continue to be the way it was in 2008 to 2012. We have to look to become lean and mean, almost like it was as I can remember back in 1990s as a general manager of a coal mine when we were producing margins that were very small, so that’s where we need to get back to.”

Sojitz Coal Mining, which manages 22 million tonnes of traded coal globally, is now keen to expand abroad and is actively looking at expanding its operating expertise in countries such as the Americas and Indonesia.

“We’re very actively looking for acquisitions and potential opportunities, mainly in the operating space,” said Mr Vorias.

 


 

This content is provided by Coaltrans Conferences for informational purposes only, and it reflects the market and industry conditions and presenter’s opinions and affiliations available at the time of the presentation.

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