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As producers around the globe juggle growing demands to produce more with less (and with net zero impact), simultaneously performing advanced acrobatics to manage the expectations of investors, shareholders and communities, how is the state of play in our own Bowen Basin?

At the Bowen Basin Mining Club, we’ve seen two principles emerge as key to mining company success, stability, and growth: the foundation of robust, continuing local collaboration and long-term partnerships. It may not be rocket science or earth-shatteringly different, but getting those two basics right makes operating in today’s business and economic environment both viable and profitable.

For example, our first 2024 luncheon in Mackay in February saw BMA’s Head of Procurement, Jessica Simpson sitting down at each table to talk with attendees about their ideas for improving ways of working together. Every luncheon features C-suite level guest speakers from major producers, and the partnerships that are built in the room have weathered many storms.

Taking the opportunity, when it arises, to build those relationships has both short-term and long-term payoffs. Events provide an excellent forum for grassroots engagement and represent good opportunities for all miners to engage at a grassroots level – it’s where some of the best ideas originate and flourish, given the right environment.  We heard about one example at our recent luncheon.

Tyre rim lock solution

In her address to the 230-plus attendees, Ms Simpson noted safety is a non-competitive space and she appealed for innovators with ideas to come forward. She cited a recent example of safety innovation forged in a local partnership with BHP Goonyella’s maintenance and tyre bay team. Their innovative tyre rim lock solution eliminates risk, with operators employing a new retainer bolt while changing large tyres.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of every employee, contractor and supplier who works on our operations, for our operations and travels on our roads,” said Ms Simpson.

Working collectively

The demand outlook for minerals remains strong, but to successfully respond to world demands. BMA is one player among many who are more and more understanding the need to work collectively to achieve common goals. The Bowen Basin’s products are world class, and will remain desirable for decades to come.

Ms Simpson explained that “to harness opportunities, BMA is in the midst of navigating a transition to emerge in the north stronger, and set the foundation to become the safest, lowest cost, and industry-leading high-quality metcoal producer. We are on the journey to build a better BMA, in safety, culture and performance.”

We’d love to see more examples of the mining industry collaborating and pulling together towards our common future. Whether that’s at future Bowen Basin Mining Club events (the next one just weeks away on March 21), or bigger forums like the upcoming Queensland Mining Awards, held as part of the Queensland Mining and Engineering Exhibition (QME) in Mackay, or even over a simple cup of coffee.

We’ve seen it demonstrated time and time again: local partnerships are the fuel in the tank that will drive us toward a more prosperous future. 

Jodie Currie

Director, Bowen Basin Mining Club

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