Bowen Basin Mining Club director on the importance of industry awards

Bowen Basin Mining Club director Jodie Currie explains the importance of awards and recognition in the mining industry.

The biannual Queensland Mining Awards will be held this month, co-hosted by the Bowen Basin Mining Club (BBMC) and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

Peer-judged by leaders in the mining industry, the awards assess mining industry producers, suppliers and contractors across categories including:

  • Collaboration
  • Safety
  • Cost saving
  • Time saving
  • Project innovation
  • EEO, community and staff engagement, and
  • Product launch — for Queensland Mining & Engineering Exhibition (QME) exhibitors

The collaboration category is new this year, aimed at uncovering stories of cooperation between producers and suppliers.

The Awards are designed to celebrate the spirit of innovation and excellence that is fostered within our highly competitive industry. So far, the calibre of entries in the 2018 Awards is far above anything we’ve seen in previous years, with a record-breaking number of entries across all categories.

The Awards are held in Mackay, the heart of the Bowen Basin, in collaboration with the biannual QME. This was a strategic decision from the start, to gather together the industry’s key decision-makers and showcase our finalists. The networking and name recognition that comes with the Queensland Mining Awards is reason enough to enter.

But why awards?

The BBMC first created the Queensland Mining Awards in 2014 as a way to recognise contractors — who were often overlooked in industry awards that focused on the big end of town, rather than the smaller contractors who were doing things faster, smarter and more efficiently just to stay in the game. The peer judging meant real feedback and real exposure for these contractors on innovations that had the potential to save significant time and money.

For the BBMC, Queensland’s largest networking organisation for the mining industry, it made sense to create a program that put the hard work of contractors up in lights for a change.

It’s the BBMC’s mission to “open the pipeline of communication” between site, supplier and senior executives. While we do consistently achieve this with our bi-monthly networking luncheons, the Awards were a way to highlight the achievements of our members as assessed by their industry peers.

The 2018 Queensland Mining Awards judging panel includes senior executives from the C-suite, procurement, production, planning, public policy and business development, across minerals, coal and gas. This means all submissions are assessed with a well-rounded view to industry trends and existing best practice — there’s no award that won’t be earned!

How do awards help business?

It’s all well and good to espouse the benefits of awards when you’re running them. For a business to enter, it takes effort, coordination and precious resources.

In the years we’ve run the Awards, businesses of all shapes and sizes have entered — no matter the climate of the industry, there’s always innovation, creativity and best practice to share around.

Mackay-based TEAM Group was named the Contractor of the Year in 2016, for their project management and engineering-based solution to a complex transport problem. They have since leveraged this win into work with major mining companies, with the Contractor of the Year title as a unique differentiator in the market.

Further back, SMW Group was the 2014 Contractor of the Year, for completely redesigning the heavy haulage tray rebuild process with savings of 25 per cent in cost, as well as breakthroughs in quality, safety and speed. The SMW Group workforce has since doubled, with expansion into several new areas of business.

Both these companies put their time and effort into a submission, and it has more than paid off.

But by the time you’re reading this, it will be too late to enter, and tickets to the Gala Presentation dinner may have sold out (if not, they’re available at www.bbminingclub.com/awards).

So how else can you be involved? If you attend QME, come by the Queensland Mining Awards stand to find out about our finalists, and watch this space to hear the remarkable stories that we uncover in 2018 … and beyond.

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