KALGOORLIE, Australia, Aug 8 (Reuters) – New spending by some of the world’s largest iron ore miners is tightening the market for jobs and support services in Australia’s biggest mining region, bringing a sense of optimism after years in the doldrums.
Spending by majors BHP Rio Tinto and Fortescue has boosted confidence throughout the industry, drawing in labour and machines from diggers to drill rigs, said delegates at a mining convention in the outback town of Kalgoorlie.
“This year, the mood is quite buoyant. If Kalgoorlie is going well, then the rest of the industry is going well,” Andrew Broad, chief executive of mining contractor Ausdrill told Reuters on the sidelines of the Diggers and Dealers conference.
Demand for mining labour was the best in around five years, Broad said. Ausdrill has around 5,000 contractors on its books globally. “It’s still hard work. The rates aren’t lifting as quickly as we would like. But there’s plenty of opportunity around.”
The value of Western Australia’s listed companies jumped 27 percent during the 2018 financial year ended June 30 to A$193.5 billion ($143.4 billion) – the highest since May 2011, driven largely by gains in resources firms, according to Deloitte.