By Blair Pedersen

Mining jobs in Australia

Working in the mines has been a rite of passage for many New Zealand and UK tradies since the mining boom began in early noughties. And ever since the noughties, Australia has been screaming out for workers in the mines.

There are so many jobs that need to be filled that range from unskilled to highly skilled technicians and professionals. It’s also a great opportunity for skilled migrant workers from South East Asia. This article is going to discuss mining jobs in Australia.

Types of mines in Australia

Australia is a top 4 global producer for approximately 20 different minerals, which makes it the largest mineral producer in the world. In terms of volume, iron ore and coal contribute the most, followed by gold, bauxite and lithium. The mining industry is huge, not just in economic performance, but literally huge with massive machinery and nature defying feats of engineering that totally transform the surrounding areas.

Benefits of getting a mining job in Australia

It’s no secret that mining jobs pay well. Skilled professionals can get paid much more in a mine than they would in a major metropolitan area, if you have the right qualifications. There are many stories out there of graduates earning six figure salaries. Even entry level, un-skilled positions can command an attractive salary that would set you up for the rest of your life.

Types of jobs available in the mines

As with any industry, the types of jobs available in mining vary widely. He is a rundown of the most popular jobs in the Australian mines.

Engineering

Engineers design and build the basic machinery within the mines. They also design the actual mine itself, working closely with the geo-technicians and geologists. There are a variety of different engineering jobs available that are all highly paid and all require a lot of skill.

Construction

Mine construction jobs are essential and follow on from the work that mining engineers do. It’s varied and tough. A construction worker in the mine could be putting together the mine shaft, managing large projects and handling the practical aspects of mine construction.

Exploration

Mining exploration is the realm of the geologist. Mining exploration expeditions are responsible for identifying and securing new sites that could be resource rich. These types of jobs are solitary and are very isolated, as new mineral discoveries usually occur deep in the Australian outback.

Operations

Working in operations means that the day to day running of the mine is your responsibility. These are less science-based roles and more hands on. Activities include planning and implementing long- and short-term mining goals and monitoring working conditions.

Metallurgist

This is a job that can be referenced in most historical novels that is still relevant in todays world. A metallurgist is a science-based role that is responsible for separating the mineral from the waste rock.

Human resources

HR departments handle the people side of the operations. They are responsible for workers’  salaries, handling disputes and making sure all workers are performing up to standard.

Working conditions

12-hour shifts, 3 weeks on and 2 weeks off and dark, dirty and sometimes dangerous conditions are what you would expect as a mining worker. Even engineers drawing plans from a prefabricated office can get very dirty as they will be required to inspect their work which is often built on-site.

If you are moving to a mining town, you will be forced to live away from your hometown for a long time and be required to work 3 weeks on, 2 weeks off. For these reasons, this is why mining is referenced as young person’s occupation.

Where to live when mining in Australia

In Australia there are many support towns that are built around the large mines. For example, Blackwater is a mining town that is built around the largest coal mine in Queensland. There are many other towns like this all-around Australia. Purchasing a property in these mining towns can be very expensive with consistent mining activity and high salaries making the housing prices in these towns soar. For a miner new to the industry, renting a property may be the best accommodation option, if your contract relies on you living nearby.

Fly in, fly out contracts

Some jobs require you to fly in and fly out of the mines, allowing you to live in your city, or country of choice. There are many New Zealanders that have taken residence in New Zealand while still occupying their position as a miner in Western Australia. If you have this type of working arrangement, you could end up spending more time on a plane than the average business person.

Recruitment companies that specialize in mining jobs in Australia

There are many different mining recruiters in Australia that cater to all levels of experience and skill. A few places to try first are:

Seek

Mining employment services

Hays

Indeed

Stellar recruitment

Jora

If you’re prepared to work hard and get dirty, working in a mine could be a savvy and very lucrative decision.


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