15 important facts about Australian mining

15 important facts that every new starter needs to know about the Australian mining industry.

  1. The boom is back on, with strong demand for workers in all the hardrock underground mines across Australia. The industry requires people from across the population, for a varity of skills and jobs. There are 1000’s of these well paid jobs, going on hardrock mines (Gold, Nickel, Copper, Rare Earths) all over the country.
  2. People keep trying to do the things that helped get a job in past booms. The 3day dump truck course is the classic example of this, it worked 25years ago for a short time when the iron ore mines in WA were first hiring. Now instead of helping you get the job, it just shows the employer that you don’t understand how the industry works in regards to ticketing
  3. Mining tickets are only valid on the mine site they are issued. These tickets are non-transferable. The tickets often sold as “Mining tickets” are in fact civil constructions tickets which use the national system in construction
  4. There is no national system that covers mining, only state systems. This is why there are no TAFE courses in hardrock mining. However, there is an industry standard that is used on most Hardrock mines in Australia. The standard is based on the WA Mining Act & Regulations
  5. Yes, a new starter gets paid between $300-$495 a day (depending on the company and job) as a nipper, underground truck operator, driller offsider or surface truck operator.
  6. Australian Hardrock underground mines have become some of the safest most productive mines in the world, in the last 20 years. These mines and the companies running them are seen as world’s best practice.
  7. Australian miners (earning $30K a month) and Australian Hardrock mining companies are running mines around the world.
  8. The robots and driverless trucks aren’t going to be taking your hardrock underground mining job anytime soon. It’s only the iron ore mines in the north of WA (that are strip mining) that can set up big exclusion zones, where these trucks can be used safely. A very small part of the overall industry
  9. The majority of information about mining in Australia is just wrong or not reported correctly  (go and look at number 15, bet you never heard that before). Take the confined space myth, if you are on the east coast just ask anyone "you need a confined space ticket to work in a hardrock underground mine". The only place on a hardrock mine that needs a ticket like this. is to scrub the inside of the tanks on the mill, normally shutdown work, which is never full time.
  10. Moving from a service job on a mine site (cook, cleaner, bus driver etc) to a mining job is not as easy as you would think. Often made out on many websites as the best way to get your foot in the door, it almost never happens. Most mines have very strict rules (the 6month off site rule to change employers is common) regarding poaching staff, which makes moves like this almost impossible.
  11. 3 out of 5 green (no mining knowledge) new starters, fail in the first 6 months. If you make a mistake (written warning) in the probation period (first 6 months), then it normally means a window seat (the sack) The industry goes through a lot of people.
  12. The Hardrock mining employers want people with mining knowledge, they want people that know their systems of work and the terms being used on the mine site. If you know this information, then you have something to offer the employers, showing this knowledge in an interview gives the foreman the confidence to hire you.
  13. The mining companies should pay for the pre-employment medical and any courses required, like first aid and working at heights.
  14. The S11 often referred to as a “General Induction” is only required to work on coal mines in QLD. It can’t be used in NSW where the coal industry requires you to complete their own induction. I don’t know of any Hardrock mine that requires the S11, only coal mines in QLD
  15. The majority of mining jobs are classed as unskilled labour by the Australian government. This means they have to be filled by Australian citizens, no overseas workers.

All these facts, and more are explained in the Australian Mining seminar which is part of both the Workready and Do it Yourself packages. If you have any questions about the facts above, please leave them in the link to the right and I will get back to you as soon as possible.


Mining Coach


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