A new project based at Dubbo has a goal of helping about 30 companies active in the mining industry to export overseas within two years, its leader reports.
The first steps were taken on Thursday when representatives of the resources sector and champions of the region's economy met to chart the course.
Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana secured funding to establish a new "export hub" earlier this year, which will be focused on equipment, technology and services for mining.
The federal government has granted $234,887 over two years for the initiative, which is being matched by RDA Orana.
Export hubs are networks that help small and medium businesses harness opportunities in international market places, particularly where the federal government has signed free trade agreements - including China, Japan, Korea and Indonesia.
The advisory board of the O2N Export Hub, including representatives from mines and other industry bodies, met for the first time at Dubbo on Thursday.
RDA Orana director Megan Dixon reported those involved were "excited" about and "committed" to the project.
The leader of the organisation that extends from Mudgee in the east to Bourke in the west reports of mining being a significant contributor to central-western and western NSW.
"One of the really interesting things and it's a fact that's probably little known but Orana and Central West, we have 33 mines or mines in development," Mrs Dixon said.
...we have 33 mines or mines in development.RDA Orana director Megan Dixon
"We are really quite an intensive region in terms of what's happening and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find another region in Australia that had that much mining activity."
The export hub will concentrate on helping businesses in the sector to explore their potential to grow and reach into international markets.
The first and major milestone of the project is developing an export strategy, Mrs Dixon reports.
It would allow them to benchmark the activity, and the RDA Orana director told of hoped-for achievements within two years.
"So what I would like to see is that we probably have about 30 companies that are exporting, that we've helped to export," Mrs Dixon said.
So what I would like to see is that we probably have about 30 companies that are exporting, that we've helped to export.RDA Orana director Megan Dixon
"One of the things that comes out of that export is obviously bigger investment in their businesses here, wherever they're located.
"But also employment, and we'll measure that, we'll measure what they're doing in terms of how they're developing.
"And that's one of the real things we're looking for out of this project, is actually supporting those businesses to grow, not just by supplying locally, but by supplying into export markets as well.
"And we'll be known as a mining region, which we should be, but we possibly aren't."
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