As the latest federal election comes and goes, we are once again experiencing a shift in attitudes about mining. If you have been reading, listening or watching what the new Green and Teal elected members have had to say. You will realise that mining has been broken up into two groups. Good mining and Bad mining. The Good mining being everything that goes into making a battery, solar panels, windmills and electric vehicles. The Bad mining is coal, oil & gas, everything that they believe is warming the planet.
I am not writing this for people that are already in the industry. They know exactly what is going on. This is for the people that are trying to start a career in mining. To those, whether you like it or not, you are being left with a choice. It’s an important choice, because it will see how long your mining career lasts and how much money you make.
So do you jump into one of the Truck traineeships? That the coal industry is offering up, while it’s been experiencing increased demand with world events. Or do you go down the hardrock path? With an entry level Nipper, Offsider or Truck Operator job, that are available in hardrock underground mines around the country. There are mines in every state looking for people. You just have to type “underground” into seek to see the jobs.
For those that end up in one of the Bad areas of the industry. It will be problematic and the luck of the draw. If you get a job on a coal mine driving a truck. Then after 5 years, the best result you could hope for. Is that you have advanced off the truck and making more money than you started on, $100K to $130K. For most, it will only be a little bit more money and they will be hoping their mine is still going. That’s the worry with these bad mines, that it’s only a matter of time before someone sticks themselves to the front gate with super glue. Or does something else equally as stupid, to shut your mine down.
If you decide to go with the mines in the Good area of the industry like copper, nickel, lead, zinc, lithium, gold and the rare earths. Then you can get a start as a Nipper and in 5 years time. You should have advanced into one of the many jobs paying between $150K and $ 200k. This is also your launching point into one of the top jobs paying $300K plus. I understand if the coal mine is in the same town, you are living in. However, if your plan is to relocate yourself for the job. You need to be looking at the area of the industry that’s going to thrive over the next 10-20 years. This is going to be the hardrock underground area of the industry as the deposits get deeper.
This new cycle is all about new batteries and the green tech that uses them. These batteries not only need lithium but also nickel, copper, zinc, silver and more to make it all work. With less than a 2 to 6month supply of most of these metals, the demand has ramped up quickly. The industry requires the next generation of Australian hardrock underground miners. Now is your opportunity to start your career.
If you think you want to start a career in hardrock underground mining then check out our DIY Introduction to Underground Mining, W1N W1N or Workready packages. The employers are looking for people that know how their mining works. If you show them that you can answer the mining questions in an interview, then you have something to offer them. If you get in now, you are getting into the start of the next big cycle.
Good luck, hope everyone gets the mining job they want.
The Mining Coach