Brisbane firm DINGO says it is looking to Latin America for growth opportunities after a shake up in the mining and resources industry, which has seen the region take over Australia’s top spot in the sector. Paul Higgins, Managing Director of the mining software provider, said DINGO already exported 40% of its products and services overseas – and he was hoping to grow that figure substantially in the next few years.
“These current conditions have challenged us to look beyond our normal markets,” he said after returning from a Mining Equipment, Technology & Services (METS) Tourism Industry Queensland trade mission to Peru and Chile.
“Latin America has been bumped to the top of the capital investment tree, driven by the demand for copper out of China, and we see that as a huge opportunity.”
Higgins said DINGO had been approached by South American and Mexican companies chasing partnership deals, which the company was evaluating. “Australia is seen by this part of the world as a market leader in mining and resources technology, which opens the door for us,” he said. “These markets are underserved and we are excited about the value we can deliver there.”
According to research group SNL, more than a quarter of capital raised in the first half of 2015 – some 26% – was directed towards Latin America, placing it ahead of Canada when it comes to mining and resources investment. There are currently 293 mining projects underway in South America worth between $290 and $316 billion. Partly prompted by strong interest in DINGO’s products and services at last month’s Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition in Sydney, the company is also looking at global opportunities in Africa, Indonesia, China and Europe according to Higgins.
“Despite the current downturn in the Australian industry, we felt the AIMEX conference was well worth attending,” he said. “The numbers were down, but that was a plus for us because it allowed us to stand out. And the companies that were there, were there for the long run, so it was quality over quantity.” Higgins said the number of Chinese exhibitors had skyrocketed at this year’s AIMEX conference, which should send a signal to the industry about future trends. “This aspect of the changing international market does not create a big challenge for DINGO, because we provide highly specialist products,” he said.
“But it shows where things are going for mining generally and we have seen the impact of that already in relation to the big deal brokered in Mongolia.” Higgins started DINGO from a Toowong apartment in 1994, but the privately-owned company now manages more than $7 billion worth of assets and employs almost 50 people. The company intends to grow these numbers dramatically in coming years as it expands its geographic footprint.