MST is 2011 Craig Senger award winner

SYDNEY-BASED MST Global has been chosen from a stellar field as the 2011 Craig Senger Top Exporter at this year’s Austmine conference in Brisbane, Queensland. The depth of the entrants’ list led the judges to also name a Highly Commended award winner, MineARC Systems.

Awarded for the second time to mark the contribution of former Austrade trade commissioner Craig Senger – tragically killed in a terrorist attack on a hotel in Jakarta in July, 2009 – to the promotion of Australia’s mining technology and services export sector in international markets, the Top Exporter prize was contested by finalists Mine Site Technologies, MineARC, inaugural winner Micromine, Hedweld Engineering, Snowden, AMC Mining Consultants, Ludowici, Maptek and Sinclair Knight Merz.

“All these exceptional companies were judged on a range of performance criteria, but clearly the commitment to growing exports was a key focus,” Austmine director Elizabeth Lewis-Gray said at a function attended by Senger’s widow, Kate, and family.

“The judging committee was made up of Austmine directors Bob Calvert, Tom Hunter, Gavin Becker and Brett Morgan, and they all expressed to me how difficult it was to make a decision with such fantastic finalists.

“Craig Senger was … a fantastic supporter of Austmine and very passionate about what we were doing. At the time of his death he was attending a business meeting to promote Australia’s business interests in the mining sector.”

Mike Lincoln, general manager of MineARC, said the recognition was a fitting reward for the efforts of the company’s 60 or so employees in Australia, the USA and China. The 12-year-old company, based in Western Australia, has become the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of customised mine safety refuge chambers.

MST, established in 1989, was one of the sector’s “20-year overnight success stories”, said general manager – international Mike Folletti, who has spent the past three years based in the US developing the mine communications technology specialist’s North American business.

“I’m really proud and honoured to receive this award,” said an emotional Folletti, who thanked Kate Senger for attending.

“I personally knew Craig and worked with him in South America, and he was a great ambassador for Austrade and the Australian mining industry, and for flying the flag for all of us, effectively.

“For us as a company [the award recognises] all the people who’ve worked for Mine Site Technologies for the last 20 years.

“I have to mention the founder of our company and major shareholder, Gary Zamel … if any of you know Gary I’m sure you’d agree he’s a truly unique character. But with that he brings commitment, support and an undying belief in Australian technology, the mining industry, and taking it to the world. Mine Site Technologies would not be here today if he didn’t support it through the hard times.” And there had been plenty of those, Folletti said.

“For any companies embarking on the export journey, just stick to it because it won’t be easy, but the rewards
are great,” he said.

“I often talk about Mine Site Technologies being an Australian company, but also a global operation, but I think this year was the first year I actually could say that Mine Site was a truly global company and operator because we got to a tipping point where we actually achieved more sales from an export perspective than we did within Australia.

“That doesn’t take away from the 18-20 years we’ve spent building up our name in Australia, and our support for the Australian mining industry, but it is a reflection of truly becoming a global operation.

“One of the rewards is being able to finally say that.”

This article is provided with the approval of HighGrade. HighGrade is Australasia’s weekly online mining magazine delivering to readers the high-grade cut of mining industry news from around the region, and the globe.www.highgrade.net

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