Why Gold is the new Iron Ore if you want an Australian Mining Job

Why Gold is the new Iron Ore if you want an Australian Mining Job

If you are looking to get a start in the Australian Mining Industry then you need to know that the demand for entry level workers has moved. While for the last 20 years it has been Iron Ore supplying most of the new jobs to the industry. This has dramatically changed over the last 2 to 3 years with the rise of Gold ($3425 an ounce Australian) and is why, Gold is the new Iron Ore if you want an Australian Mining Job.

So, what’s going on with Iron Ore?

The price is dropping (it’s down to $102 US a ton as I am writing this) due to reduced worldwide demand. However, it’s the mass adoption of autonomous equipment by the sector over the last 5 years that has killed all the jobs. Iron Ore now only needs a handful of new starters each year thanks to automation, opposed to the thousands they were taking on back in the day to work on site. Truck driving has been replaced by mouse clicking, saving the companies huge amounts of money on wages, as the new mouse clicking jobs only pay a fraction of what the old truck driving jobs paid.

So, what does this mean for jobs?

It means the jobs have moved from Iron Ore to Gold mines, specifically Hardrock Underground ones. Today you can get everything you thought an Iron Ore job would give you back in the day ($150K a year, even time roster, 20days annual leave) from a Service Crew or Paste Fill job on an Underground Gold mine. Granted these aren’t necessarily entry level roles (it should be noted that we do have people, that complete the training, start on service crew or paste crew as their first job) but these jobs are easily achievable within 12 to 18 months for those committed to having a go. You would be surprised how many people get this opportunity and don’t have a red hot go. They end up coasting and this leads to getting stuck as a long term truck driver, then they wonder why they are getting overlooked for promotion.

So, what do I need to do to get one of these new starter jobs on a Gold mine?

You only need a manual license, you don’t need any equipment tickets as the employers within the Gold sector have to issue their own onsite equipment tickets and procedures. The entry level jobs are Nipper, Truck Operator, Service Crew, Paste Crew, Agi and Diamond Driller Offsider. If you type “underground” into seek you will see all the jobs come up. We also have our “Mining Jobs to apply for” page that we load up all the jobs we think you should be applying for once you have done the training.

Employers are looking for entry-level people on all Hardrock Underground mine’s around Australia. They don’t want to, they all would much rather hire experienced people but due to the boom that’s just not possible. This has left all the employers with the same big problem. Teaching someone to drive the truck is the easy part (only takes a couple of weeks). Teaching that person enough about how the mine works, so they can be left alone to drive the truck on their own, that’s the hard part and what people struggle with. The longer you need a babysitter, the more they ramp the pressure up and the more people don’t want to be there anymore. If it’s obvious that you are just not getting it, then they will tap you on the shoulder and tell you to pack up your room and send you home. This is why there is a high turnover of new starters. Knowing how the mine works is a skill all employers need their employees to have, which most new starters overlook.

This means, if you can show the employer that you know how their mine works and what’s going to be expected of you working on their mine site, then you have something to offer them. Showing the employer that you know how the system works is huge and when I say “system”, I’m talking about the culture, language, employment process, everything that makes up the work environment. This is all about setting yourself up for success in the industry and being ready to be thrown in the deep end with the sink or swim training that employers are forced to use.

Underground Training has 3 different packages you can use to get yourself a mining job, depending on how much support you want or need. The DIY Introduction to Underground Mining package has the 50 hours of mining information all the employers want their new starters to know and includes full instructions on how to redo your resume (it takes about 2 hours to do yourself), interview prep questions, as well as a mining company to apply to directly. If you want your resume done for you, then checkout our 3 Step Plan package which includes the online training and a full resume package from Beyond Recruitment and Resumes.

If you want help getting in, we also do a Workready package, this is where you get a ticketed WA shift boss to help you with the mining information, redo your resume, interview prep and come up with a plan of where and how to get in. It just depends on how much help you want to which package is best for you.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to talk to someone you can leave your details in this link.

I hope that info helps.

The Mining Coach