Mining in WA has sustained thousands of people in well-paid mining jobs for many years. Despite the ups and downs of the iron ore industry in Australia, there are still plenty of jobs going in Western Australian mines.
The jobs situation is not like it used to be – let’s be clear on that!
No one is going to say it’s easy to just walk into a $100k job off the street.
“plenty of jobs”
However, if the online mining jobs boards are anything to go by, there are still plenty of jobs for those with the qualifications, experience and the ability to move to WA to be where the mining action is.
There is of course the highly publicised FIFO workforce that regularly commutes to the remote regions of WA’s Pilbara where most of the mining operations are centered.
So what drives mining jobs in Western Australia?
And more importantly, what factors contribute to the slackening off of job advertisements in the west?
One of the biggest drivers of mining jobs is ‘profitability’. What we mean by this is the profit mining companies can make by completing their mining activities, getting the iron ore onto ships and delivering it to customers.
Iron ore demand from Asia
China and other Asian countries have been consuming Australian iron ore until about 12 months ago when the tide turned and China reviewed its building and development program.
The price of iron ore soared a few years back, however it settled into a more modest price of around US$130 a tonne. At this price most mining companies in Australia could realise a profit on their mining operations.
There is a very different story as of June 2014 when the iron ore price dropped to under $100 a tonne. At this low price, extra pressure is placed on mining companies to manage their costs and maintain a healthy balance sheet.
Towards the end of June 2014, there has been a glimmer of hope for iron ore mining in Australia as China starts to wake up once again. An early indicator of Chinese factory activity for the month of June has been announced and it`s stronger than initially expected.
The bigger mining companies like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group have invested heavily in creating efficient processes that allow their mines to operate to exacting standards.
These standards and benchmarks are put in place to create efficiency at all levels of the mining operation, which in turn lowers costs and allows for increases in profitability.
WA mining jobs on SEEK
A quick review of mining jobs board giant SEEK.com.au reveals almost 1200 mining-related vacancies.
Whilst some of the jobs are located in the Perth metro area, the majority are located in the mining centres of North West WA, such as the Pilbara, Port Hedland, Karratha, Kalgoorlie Goldfields.
Here is a good article on mining jobs in Western Australia.
To get an idea of what types of mining jobs are available in WA, download the iMINCO Big List of Ming Jobs guide. It’s packed with ideas and information on the types of mining jobs you can do.
Mining news is your ticket to a mining job
Do you know what’s happening in the mining industry in Australia? Have you looked at the price of coal or iron ore lately? Which new mines have opened in the last 6 months, where are they and what does the future hold?
These questions and more are answered each week in iMINCO Project News. The digital publication is emailed to around 20,000 subscribers each week and it is free with no lock-in subscriptions or other online tricks.
This is purely a news service to assist people in Australia to understand the mining industry and discover the job and training opportunities open to them.