Australian iron ore mining - what you need to know - iMINCO Mining Training Information

Australian iron ore mining – what you need to know

Many people looking for mining jobs wait until the last minute when the jobs are advertised on the many jobs boards.

Many job applicants fail miserably because they have failed to research the mining industry and this is reflected in their job applications.

iMINCO - Iron ore mining Australia

Jobs in Australian iron ore mining

One of the biggest mining job success tips iMINCO can give to job hunters in the Australian mining sector, is to thoroughly research the mining industry.

This means starting from scratch and learning everything there is to know about the type of mining they want to do, where the mines are and which mining companies operate the mines in that location. However, that’s still not enough to cut it at an interview.

“the real issues facing mining companies”

One of the biggest secrets to getting a mining job interview and making an everlasting impression at†that interview, is to show a high-level knowledge of the intricate workings of a mining operation. Furthermore, when a person has the knowledge and confidence to talk about the real issues facing mining companies, the magic starts to happen.

An overview of Australian mining fundamentals

A mining company is just like any other business in the way it operates. There are many factors to consider, including developing the mine, building the infrastructure, creating the rail and road links to the ports, developing infrastructure at the port and most important of all – finding customers who will pay the right price for the coal, iron ore, gold, copper or whatever mineral is being mined.

On top of all of these challenges mining companies face (apart from finding, reliable personnel to run the operations), they have to contend with being competitive in a global market. The unpredictability and volatility of global markets like iron ore can make or break a mining company in a matter of weeks. Sudden drops in the price of iron ore can wipe billions of dollars worth of profit from mining operations.

“supply and demand”

Price fluctuations are driven by many factors, however, one of the most common factors is ‘supply and demand’.

This is one of the biggest challenges facing mining companies around the world as developing countries like China, wind back their internal projects, which means they no longer need as much iron ore as before.

The price of iron ore, as at the middle of May 2014, is hovering around $US100-1120 a tonne. In the past, the price has dipped to $80 a tonne, causing all manner of panic throughout the Australian mining sector. As a result of this, many mining companies realised if they did not start to become more efficient and cost effective, they would soon be out of business.

“an obligation to reward investors”

Many mining companies are public listed and have a presence on the Australian Stock Exchange. This adds considerably more stress†to mining executives as they have used other people’s money to develop their mining operations, and so they have an obligation to reward those investors, be it a bank or a mum and dad shareholder.

When their customers decide they will pay less for the raw materials being produced, it’s crunch time and more often than not, mining operations are cut back and there are not as many jobs available.

“raking in huge profits”

This is a natural in-breathing and out-breathing of the industry and history has seen these cycles before. The last super-cycle as seen in Australia saw many mining companies raking in huge profits and with the volumes of cash rolling in, it was easy to get a high-paying job in the mines.

In 2014, that has changed considerably. Mining activity has throttled back in terms of investment and now the main focus is on†productivity. Mining companies in Australia are simply focused on getting as much iron ore out of the ground as they can in a short period of time and getting it to their customers.

“the main focus for mining companies is productivity”

This increase in production has created record shipments from the WA Pilbara iron ore ship loading port of Port Hedland. It’s been estimated that†a million tonnes of iron ore†is being exported each day from the bustling port. Many mining companies are vying for control of their slice of the port, which over the years has undergone rapid development.

“one of the busiest ports in the world.”

Western Australian mining companies like Fortescue Metals Group, who operate 4 large mines in the Pilbara, have developed impressive mining and logistics solutions to rapidly transport their processed iron ore to Port Hedland via private rail networks. With new mines under construction like the Roy Hill iron ore mine, Port Hedland is rapidly becoming one of the busiest ports in the world.

Lower processing costs allows protection against falling prices

The††number of mining companies operating in Australia, especially iron ore miners, creates severe competition for those involved. The larger miners like Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue have invested heavily in technology and infrastructure to make their mining operations profitable.

“being more efficient in mining operations”

They have achieved this by focusing on driving down the base cost of mining iron ore, which involves being more efficient in the way they mine, refine, stockpile and transport their product.

The introduction of remote operation technology, driverless trains, trucks and processing facilities has contributed to mining company profitability.

With some of the big miners realising cash costs of mining, refining, stockpiling and shipping somewhere in the region of around $45-$50 per tonne, you can see that at present iron ore prices (the price customers are prepared to pay), there is still room to create a decent profit margin.

For the smaller Australian iron ore mining companies who have developed mining operations in Western Australia, their costs are almost double. This presents a high probability of these mining companies being forced out of the market should the iron ore price slide to 2013 prices of $80 a tonne.

“consolidate their dominance’

This is of course what some of the larger mining companies would prefer as it removes the competition and allows them to consolidate their dominance in the Australian iron ore mining sector.

What’s next and why should I care about iron ore mining?

When we first started talking about iron ore mining in Australia, the focus for new starters in the industry was to build knowledge. Discovering the many sides to the mining industry in Australia is the catalyst to building self-confidence and awareness of an industry that is worth billions of dollars to the Australian economy.

“work hard, increase your knowledge”

For many people who dream of a high-paying mining job, their dreams and hopes can still become a reality. There are hundreds of mining jobs available in the mining industry. With iron ore mining going on in almost every state in Australia, anyone can have access to the industry if they are prepared to work hard, increase their knowledge and invest in themselves in terms of getting the right training and qualifications mining companies want you to have.

“iMINCO is dedicated to helping people understand the mining industry”

iMINCO is a mining information company that is dedicated to helping people understand the mining and resource sector in Australia. Revealing where the mining activity is, who the mining companies are and when and how to apply for jobs has been one of our strengths and we are proud to say we have literally helped thousands of people get a job in the mines.

“become part of the Australian iron ore mining success story”

With so many training and career options, the mining industry is a perfect choice for many people who are prepared to knuckle down and work hard. Mining companies want to employ safety-focused people who are willing to take instructions and become part of the Australian iron ore mining success story.

In response to the changing mining environment iMINCO has created a range of learning materials in the form of downloadable e-books.

These free books contain invaluable information to help people to:

  • Learn about Australian mining companies
  • Find out which mines offer the best types of employment
  • Understand the different types of mining operations
  • Learn about what it takes to get a mining jobs
  • Which training courses they can do
  • What qualifications are in high demand
  • Transfer their trade skills across into the mining sector
  • Discover† the different types of mining machinery and technology used on mine sites today
  • Create the perfect resume that will trigger an interview
  • Build confidence when being asked questions at an interview
  • Get a mining job even if they have no experience . . . and much more

Get your personal copy of the mining e-books

These 6 e-books could open the door to a high paying mining job

And, of course, get the latest mining news delivered weekly to your inbox. iMINCO Project News is read by thousands of people each week . . .†get your copy today.

iMINCO Project News Western Australia

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