Here's where the next big mining job opportunities are

Dump truck in action

Thousands of new mining and mining construction jobs have been announced in the past month.

While the news may be filled with doom and gloom about the mining downturn, in boardrooms around the country we’re seeing mining companies talking up their next projects — and the new jobs that are just around the corner.

Let’s take a look at just some of the announcements made in recent weeks, because these are the projects some of us in the industry will be working on in the future.

Capricorn copper mine to reopen

The mothballed Mount Gordon mine, 125km from Mount Isa in Queensland, is set to reopen after the Queensland Government gave its approval. New operators Lighthouse Minerals and EMR Capital say they’re looking at a 10-year mine life and nearly 300 jobs — 90 during construction and 200 once operational. It’s due to reopen in the third quarter of this year.

BHP’s Bowen Basin coal project

Coal projects seem to be controversial in Australia at the moment but while the media focuses on the Adani project, BHP and Mitsubishi are getting on with their plans for the $270 million Caval Ridge Southern Circuit project in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. The project is set to create 400 jobs during construction and then 200 operational roles.

Mount Gibson Iron refloats sunken island

Mount Gibson Iron announced in late April it would restart its Koolan Island iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. The mine is currently flooded but Mount Gibson said a feasibility study had shown it was both economically viable and safe to start again. The company is talking about 80 construction-stage jobs and as many as 315 jobs during operation.

Rio Tinto ramps up in the Pilbara

Jobs are already starting to flow in WA’s north as Rio Tinto pushes ahead with several major projects and investments. The company is flagging the creation of more than 1000 jobs across its Silvergrass, West Angelas and Yandicoogina iron ore mines. Silvergrass will create 500 jobs during construction alone and Yandicoogina about 470. West Angelas is nearing completion and there’s an expectation 120 operational jobs will be created.

Blair Athol coal project to reopen

Orion Mining is set to reopen one of Queensland’s oldest coal mines, Blair Athol, which shut down in 2012. The Bowen Basin project should begin operation as soon as June, with the company promising some 600 direct and indirect jobs for the region.

Could Mount Lyell make a comeback?

There are even reports the troubled Mount Lyell copper mine in Tasmania could soon reopen, following an investment by the State Government there. Preparation works are expected to create up to 60 jobs.

Rare earth in the outback

One thing you’d think there’s plenty of in the outback is dirt, but nevertheless there’s a rare earth project getting underway on the Northern Territory-West Australian border. The project will mostly mine dysprosium, a chemical element used in magnets for electric vehicles. Northern Minerals is starting a three-year-long pilot processing project near Halls Creek that is set to employ 350 people in operational phase and 50 during construction.

So, thousands of mining jobs are on the way over the next couple of years. In the meantime, if you’re an experienced miner looking for work in Australia, get in touch with Mining People International. We have an experienced team of consultants happy to help you find your next position.

Dan Hatch
Mining People International