The Pilbara in WA is again gaining the attention of many mining job seekers as more iron ore mining companies expand their iron ore mining operations.
Atlas Iron, has announced further expansion plans for further development of its Mt.Webber Stage 2 Project.
FIFO jobs on the rise
Jobs in iron ore mining seem to be a major draw card for the steady streams of workers who regularly FIFO into remote mining areas of the Pilbara in WA.
With a new focus on raising productivity, a new era of mining jobs is on the horizon for those who seek rewarding WA mine jobs.
Another indication of prosperous times in the Western Australian Pilbara is the number of smaller mining companies like Atlas Iron, who are silently creating a strong voice in the Australian iron ore industry.
“Atlas is one of the best performing junior miners in Australia”
Whilst this company is not one of the larger mining companies with huge mining operations in WA, they are one of the best performing junior miners in Australia.
As we said earlier, Atlas Iron are pushing ahead with the development of their Stage 2 iron ore mining project at the Mt.Webber mine site. They also have expansion plans for their Horizon 1 (Mt.Webber), 2 and 3 mining operations which cover vast areas of the North and Southeast Pilbara.
Mining investment of $212 mllion
Atlas have completed a cost analysis of the proposed development and have estimated the investment to be somewhere in the region of $212-million for the Stage 1 and 2 expansion projects.
Looking at the Mt.Webber operation and the expansion project, 6 million tonnes of iron ore production is a huge operation for a smaller miner. When you consider iron ore mining rivals like Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto are punching their weight with production tonnage into the hundreds of tonnes per year, Atlas still have a long way to go.
“low extraction and handling cost of $50”
One of the biggest driving factors of successful and profitable mining operations is the cost generated to extract the iron ore, process it, transport it and ship it to international customers. The cash cost for extraction and handling for Atlas Iron is a credible $50, or close to it.
This is a huge achievement for Atlas, considering the larger miners can manage cash costs of around $40 – $43 a tonne.
Atlas Iron’s vision for increased production
Atlas`s Horizon 1 growth plan is aimed at expanding its North Pilbara development to produce at a rate of 12-million tonnes per annum by the end of June 2014.
More ambitious plans are underway to achieve 15-million tonnes per year by late 2015, which would be achieved through several mine and infrastructure developments.
“healthy revenues of $588 million”
As a progressive mining company, Atlas have maintained a strong operating cash balance as well as realised a healthy revenue of $588 million.
With the spot price of iron ore trading upwards, the opportunity to increase profitability remains high for the company.
In the six months, Atlas achieved a net cash balance of A$206-million, up from a miserable A$5-million deficit in the previous period in 2013.
What to look for in a mining company
Profitability is a key factor for many people who are considering their options in terms of mining jobs in WA. The last 12 months in the iron ore industry has been turbulent as costs soared and the price of iron ore plummeted.
“don’t just taking any job that comes along”
Wary job hunters are even more aware of the financial tightrope mining companies walk along – so choosing which mining company to work with has become highly complex, with a focus on how well the company is performing as a business rather than just taking any job that comes along.
“significant new iron ore deposits”
Atlas Iron have ploughed their profits back into their mining operations, which sends a strong signal they are committed to future expansion, which is the catalyst for more WA jobs in mining.
Investing in additional exploration and drilling has contributed to significant new discoveries at the North Pilbara-based Corunna Downs and Miralga Creek projects.
Discoveries of this type are another clear signal that more jobs will become available for specialist machinery operators and mining processing and handling operators at these new mines.
Construction jobs in mining
Tradespeople looking to move to WA or pursue a FIFO job arrangement with Atlas Iron would gain significant advantage by understanding that the final leg of the Horizon 1 is underway. The expected investment is estimated to be around the A$180-millionmark.
Construction of the current suite of Horizon 1 mines is expected to be completed by the end of 2014, so there is still opportunity to score a mining job in WA with this rapidly expanding and innovative mining company.
Mining jobs at Atlas Iron
Atlas Iron have a jobs board on their website and iMINCO encourages people who are looking for a career with the mining company to visit it and browse the list of jobs. Even if there are no current vacancies, don’t be disheartened – this is normal for mining companies.
“the most effective ways to find mining jobs”
In previous articles iMINCO explored some of the most effective ways to find mining jobs – even before they hit the jobs boards like Seek, Indeed and CareerOne.
- Go take a look at this recent mining article – there’s some good tips and hints to find jobs in the mines, even before they are advertised.
- Sign up for Atlas Iron mining job alerts. They will send you details of their WA mining jobs as they are posted on their website.
- There is also a mining careers FAQ on the website at www.careers.atlasiron.com.au/cw/en/listing/. This is a good place to learn more about the company.
Mining jobs interviews – what can you expect?
Approaching a mining company like Atlas Iron to enquire about careers and current mining job opportunities is never an easy task for most people.
What’s the best way to go about this, where is the best place to start and what sort of information is going to be useful to help make a good impression on the human resources department?
Mining companies are run by people, they need people with a wide range of skill-sets, abilities, experience and attitude to create a strong and functioning mining operation.
“anyone could literally walk into a mining job”
Jobs in the mines in WA used to be easy to get – anyone could literally walk into a mining job with ease. Times have changed – now the power is back in the hands of the recruiters and HR staff.
Typical interview questions will focus on what knowledge the applicant has on Atlas Iron.
These questions and the answers provided will be pivotal and could decide the outcome of the interview.
This being the case, here are a few sample questions that could be asked in a job interview with Atlas Iron.
Common questions may be:
- Tell me – what do you know about Atlas Iron?
- What appeals to you about working at Atlas Iron?
- Do you know where our mining operations are centered? Can you give us 3 of their names?
- What do you think the main challenges for Atlas Iron are moving into 2015?
- Which of our mine sites is best suited to your skills and why?
- Do you know much about our affiliated companies and what their role is?
As you can see, getting a well-paid WA mining job is possible, it just takes a bit more creativity and determination to find out the facts first.
“Making a good impression is easy when the relevant information is at hand – and the opportunity to use it effectively presents itself.”
Learn more about the Bowen Basin mining location.
The Bowen Basin contains the largest coal reserves in Australia. This major coal producing region contains one of the world’s largest deposits of bituminous coal.
The Basin contains much of the known Permian coal resources in Queensland including virtually all of the known mineable prime coking coal. It was named for the Bowen River, itself named after Queensland’s first Governor, Sir George Bowen.
The Bowen Basin covers an area of over 60,000 square kilometres in Central Queensland running from Collinsville to Theodore and is dotted with many coal mines operated by multiple mining companies.
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Resources and Infrastructure Industry (RII)
Commonly refered to as Black Coal Competency (BCC), the RII competency is one that can be attained by an operator who has previously worked in the industry and has completed a number of operating hours on various types of machinery.
RII competency is granted to prove correct and safe operation of mine site machinery. It is a very useful qualification to have, as it confirms the operator has the required experience and expertise.
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