Do Australians still want to be miners? – by Chris Lo (Mining Technology – October 1, 2018)

Mines across Australia – especially in Queensland and Western Australia – are recovering fast after a long downturn, but many firms are struggling to fill positions as they ramp up operations, despite offering attractive salaries. The lack of interest is being attributed to changing attitudes to the mining work style, among other factors. How can Australian mining firms recruit enough staff to take advantage of a new commodities boom?

After several years of depressed commodity prices, consolidation and reduced spending, the mining industry is bouncing back. According to PwC’s Mine 2018 report, subtitled ‘Tempting times’, the world’s top 40 mining companies increased their revenue by 23% in 2017, reaching a combined total of around $600bn.

The PwC report acknowledges the benefits the industry is seeing as a result of the mining commodities upswing, along with the prospect of a new projects boom, as miners look to capitalise on growing demand.

Australia is a prime example, with new projects attracting major investment and 2018 looking like a banner year for mergers and acquisitions. In June, Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP announced the construction of the new, A$4.7bn South Flank iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, which joins two other major Pilbara iron ore projects planned by Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto.

“Everywhere we look people are saying, mining companies look profitable again and how can we get our hands on it to get our fair share,” said PwC Australia mining leader Chris Dodd in June.

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