How to get a Hardrock Underground Mining Job

Getting a Hardrock Underground mining job in a Gold, Nickel, Copper, Silver, Zinc or Base Metals mine

  1. Know what type of job you are looking for
  2. Understand what the hardrock underground employers want in an employee
  3. Understanding the employment process
  4. Creating a resume that will get read so you get an interview
  5. Interview prep, knowing what the foreman or project manager want out of the interview
  6. Casting the widest net possible job hunting and going to where the jobs are

Following these steps will give you the best chance of getting in and making a long-term career in the industry, so let’s break down each step

1.         Know what type of job you are looking for
The entry level jobs you are looking for are Nipper, Truck Operator, Diamond Driller Offsider, Agi Operator and if you prepare yourself well, people get taken for Paste Crew and Service Crew jobs.
If you type “underground” into seek you will see all the jobs come up, you need to apply for all those, no matter how much experience they ask for.
Because of the boom in metal prices, all employers have no choice but to hire new starters.
Employers need bums in seats, they all want experienced people, yes, but they are just aren’t around.
Traditionally, if employers can’t get an experienced person, then they will have a look at the entry level new starters that have sent their resume into the experienced job ads (the employers like people that are proactive), they often get 20-100 resumes form entry level new starters to choose form.

2.         Understand what the hardrock underground employers want in an employee
The employers all want the same thing, someone that knows how their mine works, the jobs they will have to do and knowing what is going to be expected of them on site.
This makes it difficult for employers when all the training is done onsite. It leads to high turnover of new starters. 3 in 5 fail in the first 6 months if they know nothing on day one.  
It also makes it difficult for New Starters to get their first job.
You can’t get a job without training, you can’t get the onsite training without the job, it’s a loop that is hard to break into without knowing how the employers mine works.
This is why Underground Training wrote their training packages, it is the only training available in the Australia that teaches what you learn on site in a Hardrock Underground mine site.  
Knowing how the employers mine works allows you to break the circle.
By being able to answer the employers mining questions in the interview, it gives the employers the confidence to hire.
Checkout the Wall of Fame page for people that have made the training work for them and below is a video from our sponsored YouTube channel Australian Mining for New Starters on going in Green

3.         Understanding the employment process
Knowing that its either the Foreman or PM Project Manager that decides who gets hire is important.
The HR department, while having a very important job collecting resumes, organising interviews, medicals, police clearances and all the paperwork involved when starting a new employee, don’t often have much input into who gets hired. That’s down to the Foreman or PM.
This means that the employment process is built around the Foreman or PM’s schedule, it can often be a stop start process as things come up in the mine that have to be delt with, it also stops when they go on days off.
The Foreman or PM are busy people and hiring new starters often isn’t high on the “to do” list.
These days it’s always on the “to do” list, with the high turnover of new starters, this can make it an unwanted chore for most.
This is why interviews can be at odd times like late afternoon’s and even weekends to fit around the Foreman or PM schedule.

4.         Creating a resume that will get read so you get an interview
A Hardrock Underground miners resume looks a certain way.
Starting at the last mine they worked at and working backwards from there, it will list the job, how long they did it for, and the different machines that they used to complete the job, it’s 2 maybe 3 pages tops without a cover letter.
There will be no RII Tickets, S11’s or formal qualifications that the employers can’t use.
This makes it easy for the Foreman and PM to cull resumes by size and content.
When you apply as a new starter you need to put what ever you think is going to get you the job on the front page.
We make sure the Underground Training course is on page one to get the Foreman’s or PM’s attention, below is a video on resumes from our sponsored YouTube channel Australian Mining for New Starters.

5.         Interview prep, knowing what the foreman or project manager want
The easiest way to impress the Foreman or PM is showing them in the interview you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
Being able to use the correct terms and language when answering the questions is what gets you over the line.
Teaching people to drive the truck is the easy bit, putting all the mining knowledge into someone so they are a safe and productive member of crew is the hard part.
This means that if you show the employers that you have your mining knowledge up to speed it means they don’t have to put that into you, which makes it a no-brainer for the employers when you can answer the mining question in the interview.
The page below has the type of mining questions employers ask in interviews, once you have completed the training and studied, you will be able to answer the questions.


6.         Casting the widest net and going to where the jobs are
Living in a mining hub or moving to a mining town
If you are living in a mining hub that does FIFO like Perth, Brisbane or Adelaide then its all about being ready when the opportunities come up.
If you want it to happen as soon as possible then you need relocate to a mining town like Kalgoorlie, Cobar or Mt Isa.

I hope that info helps, you can use the Workready or DIY Intro to Underground Mining packages to get your mining knowledge up to speed and get that start you are after!