Australia’s SME exporters are expected to benefit after a multinational finance deal was secured to support the expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia.
Australia’s export credit agency, Efic, has joined a number of international agencies, including the World Bank and other export credit agencies from the US and Canada, as well as an international syndicate of banks to support the financing of this major project.
Efic will provide a loan of up to US$150 million to Oyu Tolgoi to help finance the second phase of the mine’s expansion, which will involve the development of an underground mine.
This phase of the mine’s expansion will create a large number of contracts in the supply chain, many of which are expected to be awarded to Australian SMEs.
Andrew Hunter, Efic’s Managing Director said: “Australia has world class expertise in underground mining and the project represents a major business opportunity for a large and diverse number of Australian SME exporters.”
“An estimated 200 Australian SMEs have already been involved in providing services during the initial phase of the Oyu Tolgoi project, with contracts worth more than US$83 million.”
Among SMEs that have already benefited from the project are Gears Mining, a Queensland-based company which provides maintenance and repair work for the mine’s relining equipment, WA-based MICROMINE, a mining and geological software company which has provided the production control system, Pitram, to Oyu Tolgoi and Marcus Punch, a New South Wales located company managing risk and safety protocols for the mine shaft and site.
With Efic’s support, even more Australian SME exporters will be able to be involved in the next phase of the project. As the bidding process for the next phase of the mine’s development commences, Australian SMEs will be highly competitive in this tender process.
Australian SMEs across a wide range of industries are expected to be successful in bidding for contracts in the next phase of the project, including: equipment manufacturing, construction and engineering services, accommodation and food services, professional, scientific and technical services, and education and training.
Mr. Hunter commented: “Efic is delighted to support this project which provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase Australia’s world class mining expertise and services.”
“An important part of Efic’s role is to ensure that, where possible, we enable Australian SME involvement in the supply chain for large projects such as Oyu Tolgoi. By providing this loan, we have been able to enhance the prospects that Australia, and particularly our SMEs, will enjoy ongoing involvement in this exciting project.”
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