Home to thousands of mining jobs, the WA mining industry officially welcomed Fortescue Metals Group’s newest iron ore mine – Kings Valley into the family.
Mining in the WA Pilbara region has been providing jobs for people who come from all four corners of the country in search of a dream career in mining. High salaries and career opportunities are the main attractions for the FIFO workers who commute to the remote iron ore mines on a daily basis.
One of the hardest working mining companies in WA is Fortescue Metals Group. They have beaten the odds and built a world class mining operation from nothing. Set in the remote desert region of north-west Australia, Fortescue have built 4 huge iron ore mines – the last of the 4 has just officially come ‘online’.
So vast is Fortescue’s mining operation, it takes a huge amount of coordination and planning to run the 4 mines in an efficient and profitable manner. Hundreds of kilometres of rail lines connect the mines to the coastal hub of Port Hedland, where Fortescue has also built impressive iron ore ship loading terminals.
The four WA mining operations span thousands of kilometres across 2 central locations, the Chichester Hub and the Solomon Hub. Within the Chichester Hub are the Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek mine. The Solomon Hub is home to Firetail and the new Kings Valley mine.
WA Jobs – Kings Valley mine opens
The Kings Valley Mine is the fourth Fortescue Metals Group mine to commence mining operations in the Pilbara. In terms of WA jobs, this is good news for people who rely on the natural resources found in the desert soils to provide much needed jobs – especially for the local indigenous communities.
Mining in the WA desert takes place on what was once Aboriginal land, and still is as is widely acknowledged by Andrew Forrest (CEO of Fortescue), who has a penchant for looking after the local indigenous workforce.
Nev Power, Fortescue’s CEO said, “An integral feature of the success at Solomon (Kings Valley and Solomon mines) is the way we have integrated employment and sustainable business opportunities for Aboriginal people to break the cycle of disadvantage”.
Over the years, Fortescue has awarded 22 contracts and sub-contracts at Solomon to indigenous owned businesses, for a combined value of $583 million. In total, it’s estimated that around $1 billion worth of contracts have been awarded to local indigenous businesses and communities who provide essential mining services to the Fortescue Metals Group.
Roughly 175 indigenous WA jobs have been created at the Solomon Hub for Fortescue and its contracting partners. This includes graduates of Fortescue’s Vocational Training and Education Centre, where some 44 students have emerged with the skills to tackle a mining career head-on.
Of the thousands of mining jobs created at Fortescue around 13 per cent of employees are indigenous and employed in a wide range of job roles, from processing workers to haul truck drivers and management.