Despite what you may hear in the news about the mining sector in Australia, there are still opportunities to get into mining in 2014 and beyond.
Pessimism can best be described as† a negative view of a situation owing to lack of information and a bias towards an unfavourable outcome.
Has mining in Australia changed over the last couple of years?
Yes, of course…
There have been massive changes in the industry. Many factors have contributed to the job reductions that have been felt as far away as WA and the Northern Territory. Not to mention the staff reductions in the coal-rich areas of Queensland and New South Wales.
There are however, interesting reports that tend to miss the 6 o’clock news stories – and we feel they need to be told here.
“mining companies had surplus cash”
Negative news can fuel all manner of emotion and dampen the strongest of wills when it comes to the mining sector and jobs. When mining was booming and commodity prices were high, mining companies had surplus cash and there was enough to throw around, especially when it came to job openings.
With so much mining activity and hungry customers like China and Korea desperate for commodities like iron ore from WA and thermal coal from Queensland, jobs were in abundance.
Can you remember not so long ago when how Perth had hardly any experienced waiters? Most of them threw in their serving aprons for high-vis jackets and headed up to the mining hotspots of the Pilbara.
Turn up on site with a pair of boots, hard hat and a high-vis apron and you were almost guaranteed a mining job.
Pay packets were bulging at the seams, and the lifestyle of a WA miner was the envy of all. Men and women enjoyed the spoils of extra cash to buy what they desired, so sales of electrical goods, water sport toys like boats and jet ski’s, high-performance utes and lavish overseas trips were the norm.
Everyone was happy…
Then the weather changed and† a stormy horizon threatened to bring an end to an era of high wages and good times.
“t-bones at a barbie’
In 2012 and 2013, things did change, mining projects were cut, the once entry-level jobs that attracted thousands of people to the mines to earn easy-money were disappearing faster than t-bones at a barbie.
Since then, we have been bombarded with the new of depreciating iron ore and coal prices, projects being abandoned and general lack of confidence in the mining and resource sector.
“hundreds of thousands of people employed in mining jobs”
Despite all of this, there are still hundreds of thousands of people employed in mining jobs and jobs that exist because of the resource sector in Australia.
So when we came across a recent article about Queensland mining jobs growth, we thought we’d share it.
These changes in the mining economy since 2012 have shown that employment in WA is growing as well as any other state, however employment in the mining sector in WA over the past year has fallen by 5%. This is due to many factors and it seems that mining contractors are the ones who have suffered most.
In Queensland mining employment continues to grow
Queensland mining however continues to grow – yes – grow!!
How’s that for good news..?
Now, the news source we use as our benchmark for this information is a well respected international news network which states in Queensland mining employment continues to grow. Imagine that, more jobs in Queensland mines!
Since 2012, however, the biggest growth sector in the resource sector has been in oil and gas extraction. Coal seam gas exploration and production in Queensland is cranking up in order to begin a massive boost in exports over the coming years.† Oil and gas extraction accounts for only about 9% of all mining employment.
“coal mining jobs increase despite continuing gloom”
A recent article in the Morning Bulletin made not of the fact that despite the biggest Australian mining companies operating in the coal sector shedding thousands of mining jobs, new figures show the incredibly, the† number of people working in mining has increased.
Despite tough international competition and weakening coal prices mining companies are still focussing on digging coal out of the ground.
According to† the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) latest report, Australian coal mines must continue to fight for their survival by introducing smarter and more efficient mining methodologies.
“mining companies to weigh up their options”
At times like this, pressure is on for mining companies to weigh up their options by keeping mines open and operating at a loss, putting poor performing mines into ‘maintenance mode’ down or being more through with their budgets.
Australian miners could expect to see more favourable conditions
The report did mention that next year (2015) Australian miners could expect to see more favourable conditions when coal prices are forecast to get better.
The report also found while jobs have increased despite the previous losses, these were created as now-finished mines were still under construction.
BREE deputy executive director Wayne Calder said the continuing negativity surrounding the mining industry in Australia did not change the importance of mining to the country.
He said, “the resources industry in Australia remained the principal source of economic growth in the March quarter 2014”.
Australian government praises the mining sector
Australia government Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane pitched in by praising the sector – especially the coal sector for its strength despite facing tough conditions.
“The BREE report provides further evidence of the strength in the Australian resources industry, as well as the challenges it faces in a tighter global market,” he said.
Macfarlane also pointed out that the dismantling of the former government’s mining and carbon taxes would only help to encourage new investment which would be the precursor to new mining jobs.
For many people, a change of mining job is a good thing. Mining employment offers new opportunities and locations to experience life through a new lense.
Is mining for you?
- Do you have the skills, experience and mindset to work in the industry?
- Do you prefer to work away from home or local?
- Are you ready to sink some of your savings or invest in training to make you employable in the mines?
- Do you have the mindset to make a go of a mining career?
These questions are all fairly straight forward and ones that we ask thousands and thousands of people every year.
There are no easy answers because everyone is different. Every person has different goals and their own reasons for getting into mining.
There is however and easy way to start discovering about the mining industry in Australia (well.. there’s a few different options).
For new starters we recommend these 2 mining eBooks.
Download these eBooks, read them thoroughly and then decide whether you are ready for a mining job.
You can also keep up to date with Australian mining news by subscribing to iMINCO Project News.
This weekly newsletter is packed with mining information, with links to jobs, news stories and tips to help motivated people get a head start in the mining sector. It doesn’t cost a thing. The purpose of Project News is to collate the information many people would never find.
This information is purely designed to assist in finding mining employment for the thousands of people who are willing to make a go of it.
Are you one of them?