Who Mines Queensland?
Rio Tinto mines Queensland for coal, as does New Hope and the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA). Rio Tinto Coal owns four mining operations in the state near Clermont, Mackay and Emerald. New Hope currently has one operation in the Darling Downs region. BMA operates one near Moranbah and another in the Bowen Basin.
Coal is not the only mineral deposit in Queensland. Other companies own operations that extract silver, zinc, copper or lead. According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are currently 83 mining operations in the state.
66,800 people are employed directly by the mining industry in Queensland alone. Nationwide, there are approximately 226,000 Australians working in the industry. Engineers, electricians, equipment operators and laborers are among the positions held by these employees.
The number of operations and the number of employees has risen significantly over the last two years. Growth is expected to continue through 2015 and beyond due partly to the development of Liquefied Natural Gas or LNG for short.
Gladstone is home to four of the new Liquefied Natural Gas projects, some of which are still under construction. Once completed, the plants will employ some 5000 to 6000 full time workers.
The typical company mines Queensland for a single mineral like coal. Xstrata is an exception. The Xstrata operations in Queensland extract copper, coal and zinc. The company currently employs some 8000 people in the state.
According to the Minerals Council of Australia, for every one person employed directly by the mining industry, an additional three workers are employed in mining-related jobs. So while Xstrata employs 8000 Queenslanders directly, some 24,000 workers may be supported indirectly by the company.
The employee turnover rate is higher than that seen in other industries. Research conducted by the Australia Institute suggests that the turnover rate is 26% on average. Nationwide, this means that some 50,000 mining jobs are filled and vacated on an annual basis.
No matter which company mines in Queensland, they all need one thing. That thing is people.
Modern equipment has made mining safer and easier than ever before. But people operate the machines.
Employees seem to be something of a limited resource in Queensland. The companies are always hiring. Recruiters regularly attempt to attract people to the industry.
There is an ongoing effort to teach interested high school students the skills necessary for working in the industry. There are also educational facilities created specifically to allow people to get the training they need to fill these jobs.
While it is a company like Rio Tinto that mines Queensland, the company is made up of people like you. If you`re looking for a new career with job security, mining is one industry to consider.