With a client base spanning 7 countries and a recent win at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards, Cairns mining maintenance company International Mill Relines (IMR) is proof that Queensland’s regional businesses can take on the world and win.

IMR specialises in the maintenance of mining mills – critical facilities that grind mineral resources as part of on-site processing.

Established just 5 years ago by Cairns-based mill reline experts Andre Cuthbertson and Jimmy Butler, IMR has gone from strength to strength, and was recently named Queensland’s top exporter for 2019 in the Minerals, Energy and Related Services category.

IMR Operations Manager Sally Costin said the win was both a great surprise and a great affirmation for the company.

‘We’re all shocked to be honest,’ she said.

‘Seeing the quality of the other businesses we were up against – they’re all very, very good at what they do.

‘Being a regional business, we often don’t attract the same attention as businesses in the capital cities, but this is proof that you can be a business in regional Queensland with a global footprint.’

Ms Costin said that IMR was set up to fill a gap in the international market, meeting the critical maintenance needs of small to medium-sized mining businesses.

IMR now does 80% of its work overseas, servicing mines in the Philippines, Mongolia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and Laos.

Ms Costin said Cairns was an ideal base for a mining maintenance company, and technology now made it possible to deliver excellent service to customers around the world.

‘It’s actually cheaper to run our business from a regional location,’ she said.

‘We have an international airport that gives us a global footprint into Asia, Vietnam, PNG, the Philippines and on to Saudi Arabia.

‘And the way it is with ecommerce and new communication technologies, you really can be available to clients 24/7.

‘There’s no barrier now to having a global footprint.’

IMR employs 10 permanent staff in Cairns and 50 to 100 casual employees overseas depending on project needs.

Ms Costin said the company was committed to the highest standards of professionalism and customer service, and the export award was welcome recognition of the IMR team’s efforts.

‘We’ve already had lots of positive feedback about the award locally,’ she said.

‘I think it also paves the way for us to establish ourselves as one of Queensland’s export elite, both across Australia and overseas.’

IMR was one of 16 winners announced at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Gala on 10 October in Brisbane.

The export awards are coordinated by TIQ.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

See the full gallery of photographs from the Awards Gala.