A new year is on the way, so it's time to start thinking about the important trends that will affect the mining and industrial sectors in 2019. Improving sector confidence, increased employment and advancing technology solutions are just the beginning of what should be an exciting 12 months ahead.

1) Project expansions and higher employment nationwide

The last decade saw a downturn in the fortunes of operators nationwide, as new technology and social forces shaped the sectors significantly. However, Australian Jobs Outlook 2018 shows over 1 million Australians are still employed in mining and industry, indicating this is a major element of the national economy.

In fact, employment here is expanding further. SEEK Insights shows mining and resources recorded the largest growth in job ads between May 2017-May 2018, with this trend continuing to the end of year. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science also indicates operators have committed to a number of mining projects in the coming years, showing there are ample opportunities.

Employment in the industrial and mining sector is expected to rise in the new year.Employment in the industrial and mining sector is expected to rise in the new year.

2) Global price volatility

A number of geopolitical factors could affect the price of commodities in 2019. Supply reform in China and export restrictions in other countries could play a role in tilting the price of resources in either direction, according to S&P Global Ratings. This in turn would have a significant effect on manufacturing and a variety of industrial operations that rely on the mining and energy sector.

In Australia, commodity price fluctuations could contribute towards increased uncertainty – however, the air of optimism in national productivity is matched by S&P Global Ratings. Their survey shows 73 per cent of sector operators backed market stability as the most likely outcome for the resources industry next year.

3) Industrial and mining optimism

Expanding on this, the Mining Business Outlook (MBO) report 2018 shows three-quarters of industry leaders are optimistic for the future of the sector – a 55 per cent increase on 2015. This hope for future project expansion should lead to increased investment in the necessary infrastructure and solutions to facilitate steady development.

Optimism in the industrial and mining sector are high going into the new year.Optimism in the industrial and mining sector is high going into the new year.

Similarly, the Australian Industry Group shows manufacturing is still an expanding industry per their performance indices 2019. Thanks to increased investment in technology that optimises industrial processes and maximises value-added human labour, the industrial sector is also going through satisfying times.

4) Technology investment opportunities can transform businesses

Technology has become a byword in the mining and industrial sectors – operators simply can't optimise operations without leading measurement products. However, MBO research shows two in three industry leaders are still reluctant to invest in technology. This indicates opportunity for those looking to make a mark. This hesitancy is also reflected in manufacturing, where misguided fears over automation replacing human labour is a common rhetoric.

Modern technology solutions help to optimise the production systems vital to mining and industrial processes. Human expertise is still a core requirement for the sectors – but expert tools from specialist providers are simply an essential for thriving in 2019.

For more information about leading technology solutions for use in mining or industrial production, reach out to the SRO Technology team today by clicking below.