Can BHP Billiton be relied on as a company to work for in the future?
What are BHP’s plans for future mining development in Australia…find out more.
A recent interview with BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie revealed some important insights into the future of BHP and how Mackenzie is steering the BHP ship in the right direction.
BHP jobs in Australia have been around for over 150 years, the company being founded in Australia in the New South Wales town of Broken Hill ““ hence the name Broken Hill Propriety (BHP).
The Billiton connection was formed around 1885. Billiton was a little known tin mine on a remote Indonesian island and became a global supplier of tin. Billiton then became a major producer of aluminium, copper, zinc, manganese, coal and other precious minerals.
BHP and Billiton joined forces in 2001 and became a major true force to be reckoned with in the mining industry worldwide.
What has the history of BHP got to do with future BHP jobs?
That`s a great question and one we will hope to answer.
BHP mining projects in Australia – Olympic Dam
BHP has had at its helm a string of CEO`s, who each had their own individual style of management. On occasion, the management would get it wrong and the whole organisation would suffer as a consequence of investment decisions gone wrong.
“BHP dodged a few bullets”
Marius Kloppers was the man at the helm of BHP before Andrew Mackenzie was handed the baton. Mr Kloppers was in the media spotlight regularly as BHP dodged a few bullets that were the result of a sudden downturn in the mining industry.
BHP jobs were lost in their thousands as BHP decided to axe major mining projects in Australia. One such axing was the giant Olympic Dam project in South Australia. A $20 billion mine expansion was on the cards until the bottom fell out of the market and BHP stepped away from the project.
The Olympic Dam project is rumored to be reignited at some stage during 2014. Details of the project remain under wraps, however, BHP have indicated that the viability of Olympic Dam is still something they look at very favorably.
“BHP jobs at Olympic Dam would have numbered thousands”
The number of BHP jobs to be created would have been colossal. Owing to the inadequate access to the mineral seams of gold, copper and uranium, plans were put in place to strip the surface to get at the precious metals and minerals.
Reports indicated an army of heavy machinery operators would take 5 years to strip away the overburden ““ just to prepare the area for real mining to begin. This was going to be one of the biggest man-made holes the world had ever seen and a source of years of employment for South Australians and also other specialist workers who would live the Olympic Dam FIFO lifestyle.
BHP jobs get media attention
With Mackenzie calling the shots at BHP, there is a new outlook for the global miner. Since the mining commodity prices adjusted themselves to a more realistic level, mining companies like BHP have commenced a massive cost cutting exercise to make themselves more efficient in a competitive market.
BHP mining jobs bore the brunt of such cost cutting measures and the ramifications of this were felt Australia-wide.
Coal mining jobs in Queensland were hit hard ““ as were the BHP iron ore mining operations in Western Australia’s Pilbara. The industry was the target of the media who started to report on every aspect of BHP`s mining operations which might affect mining jobs in Australia.
The future of BHP according to Andrew Mackenzie
People looking for BHP jobs in the future would be wise to follow news from BHP in great detail as more and more plans for future development of mining assets in Australia become a reality.
Anyone who has their sights set on BHP Mining jobs should take heed of the new way of doing business at BHP. There is clearly a new culture within the business as more and more emphasis is put on productivity and efficiency.
These new initiatives are being introduced right across BHP’s mining operations in Australia and other parts of the world. Being a global mining company, BHP has immense opportunities to test out new methodologies and technologies, fine-tune the issues and then roll the exact concept across its other mining operations in all countries.
We are seeing this happening in the Australian mining industry today.
Daunia and Caval Ridge mines staffed with `no-experience` workers
When coal prices tumbled and failed to ignite back to the high prices of 2 years ago, mining companies like BHP Billiton and parent companies like BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) went into `sink or swim` mode. Financial belts were tightened to the last notch and the money tap was turned off.
“favour was given to a FIFO mining workforce”
As the global coal market settled down, BHP decided to invest heavily in Queensland coal mining operations. The BHP Billiton Daunia Mine in Queensland baulked at the accepted protocols in terms of hiring locals to staff the new mine.
As media debate raged ahead, BHP jobs were taken away from the local community workers, and favor was given to a FIFO mining workforce, thus robbing the local communities of mining jobs.
Like it or not, this is an indication of the resolve of the new BHP CEO, who recognised the old ways of mining in Australia were over and it was time to raise the standards and give others a chance at BHP mining jobs in coal.
Mackenzie gave us insights into some of the reasoning behind this decision, which provided much-needed BHP mining jobs in Queensland.
“25% of the global energy needs will be met by coal”
Owing to the population growth around the world, coal still is, and will remain, the sole source of fuel to power developing nations’ industry and population needs. It`s estimated that at least 25% of global energy needs will be met by coal.
This includes coal required to drive industry as well as coal to fire up power generating plants across the globe.
BHP has invested heavily in securing mining tenements with some of the world`s largest mineral assets buried beneath. Instead of diversifying into many other markets, the BHP head has the view of developing these assets further, where even more BHP jobs in mining will be created for Australia workers.
BHP recognises its people are its biggest asset
As the new CEO of BHP, Andrew Mackenzie has been instrumental in altering the culture of BHP. His background growing up in the Scottish suburbs has given him a fresh outlook on how BHP views its employees.
Unlike his predecessors, Mackenzie is a `people person` and can be seen regularly on-site talking to the workforce and learning about the real issues at the `coal-face` (excuse the pun)!
“a catalyst for jobs stability and growth”
When people in higher management roles have an attitude of respect for, and recognition of, the people who make the wheels of BHP spin and accelerate the company forward, it is a catalyst for jobs stability and growth.
BHP has in the past been plagued with strikes and workforce issues, driven by disgruntled employees who were not happy with the way they were being treated. No more is the disconnect between BHP management and its workforce as Mackenzie instills his management view across the whole of BHP mining operations globally.
“BHP mining jobs will be created”
Will there be BHP jobs in mining in the future? You bet there will. As the company adjusts to this new management style and future mining investments get underway, mining jobs will be created.
However, as with any industry, only the best workers will find permanent employment and even then, competition will still be fierce.
BHP jobs are still heavily advertised on the BHP websites. Go to the website and see for yourself:
BHP Mining Operations in Australia
In terms of applying for BHP mining jobs, finding the jobs is relatively easy, if you know how to search the internet. However, one of the biggest failings of job hunters who are hoping to land a high-paying mining job is an inability to prepare for an interview. Even getting an interview can be well out of reach for most people should they choose to ignore the obvious.
One of the biggest tips iMINCO can give its readers is: do your research on the mining company. In a few short minutes, relevant information can be harvested and instant knowledge can be gained just by this one action. In the case of BHP, the following information is useful to gain a quick overview of the company’s mining operations in Australia.
3 important BHP jobs tips you should not ignore
- How to prepare a resume when applying for BHP jobs
- How to get a resume past ‘resume scanning software’ used by BHP and other mining recruiters (essential reading)
- How to prepare for a BHP jobs interview
BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) coal mines
The BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) owns and operates mines in the Bowen Basin mines ““ Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Peak Downs, Saraji, Norwich Park (production ceased), Gregory Crinum and Blackwater ““ and the Hay Point Coal Terminal near Mackay.
The mines are located in the coal-rich Bowen Basin of central Queensland, which covers an area of 75,000 square kilometres. With the exception of the Crinum and Broadmeadow underground longwall operations, BHP mines are open-cut.
In September 2013 BHP Billiton opened the 4.5 million tonnes per annum Daunia metallurgical coal mine in central Queensland. In addition to the $US1.4 billion invested to construct the mine BMA committed $US7.7 billion for major coal projects in Queensland over the past four years. This includes the new Caval Ridge mine and the expansion of the Hay Point Coal Terminal currently underway, as well as the Broadmeadow mine extension.
BHP Billiton owns 50 per cent of BMA.
BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal, Australia
BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal (BMC) operates two mines in the Queensland Bowen Basin: South Walker Creek Mine and Poitrel Mine.
South Walker Creek Mine is located on the eastern flank of the Bowen Basin, 35 kilometres west of the town of Nebo and 132 kilometres west of the Hay Point port facilities.
Poitrel Mine is situated south-east of the town of Moranbah and began open-cut operations in October 2006. BHP Billiton owns 80 per cent of BMC.
New South Wales Energy Coal, Australia
Mt Arthur Coal
BHP Billiton`s open cut thermal coal mine at Mt Arthur is the largest individual coal production site in the NSW Hunter Valley. Mt Arthur Coal currently produces approximately 16 million tonnes each year for local and international customers in the Energy sector. Mt Arthur Coal is part of NSW Energy Coal which also manages the Caroona Coal Project in the Gunnedah Basin and BHP Billiton`s 35 per cent shareholding in the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group.
Caroona Coal Project
BHP Billiton is conducting exploration activities at Caroona in the Gunnedah Basin in north western NSW to potentially develop an underground thermal coal mine. BHP Billiton is working closely in consultation with the community to address concerns about the impacts of any proposed coal mine, in particular to the region`s water supply and quality and agricultural productivity.
The Caroona Coal Project is part of NSW Energy Coal which also manages Mt Arthur Coal in the NSW Upper Hunter region and BHP Billiton`s 35 per cent shareholding in the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group.
Illawarra Coal, Australia
Illawarra Coal operates three underground coal mines in the southern coalfields of New South Wales ““ Appin, West Cliff and Dendrobium; and two coal preparation plants ““ West Cliff Coal Preparation Plant and Dendrobium Coal Preparation Plant. The Port Kembla Coal Terminal is operated by Illawarra Coal on behalf of a consortium of partners (Illawarra Coal, Xstrata Coal, Peabody, Tahmoor Coal and Centennial Coal) and leased from the New South Wales Government.
Illawarra Coal is 100 per cent owned by BHP Billiton.
BHP is one the move. The new CEO Andrew Mackenzie has his sights set on making BHP and its subsidiary companies sustainable in the long term. Diversification into other industries is limited in order to ensure the financial stability of the global company, although Mackenzie has indicated the decision to spend billions of dollars on a Canadian potash mine is the result of future demand for agricultural efficiencies to sustain a growing global population.
More Australian mining news is available via the iMINCO Project News which is a weekly email newsletter aimed at developing education and creating opportunities for people who aspire to a future career in the mining industry.