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OPINION: Make Your Career in Mining

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Tania Constable, CEO, Minerals Council of Australia

With more career pathways than ever, Australia’s world-class mining industry needs motivated people of all ages, genders and experience to remake the future of mining.

With more than 100 careers across the mining industry, opportunities exist on mine sites, in high-tech remote mining centres, in science as well as computer laboratories – or any mix of locations, including right here in the Hunter Valley.

The MCA’s new Make Your Career in Mining careers guide shows opportunities ranging from managing a team, rehabilitating mine sites, building robotics or piloting drones, engineering machinery, safeguarding native plants and animals, or tackling climate change.

Advances in technology – AI, big data, automation and connectivity – are core business for mining today.

Technology makes workplaces safer and healthier, and is enabling industry to employ more people in roles ranging from virtual reality to mechatronics.

At New Hope’s Bengalla coal mine in the Hunter Valley, new employees clock hours in the simulator before they climb into the driver’s seat of a 500-tonne Hitachi dump truck.

The mine site roads, stop signs and infrastructure are programmed into the simulator to provide a highly realistic safe, modern and effective training platform. Large touch-screens allow trainees to do a virtual ‘walk-around’ of their machines, looking for maintenance issues and learning the difference between worn and damaged parts.

The result is a workforce with improved safety and efficiency.

Mine sites are also using technology to reduce reliance on fuel, generate cleaner energy and minimise water use as part of the industry’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

Improving the environmental performance of mining extends to land management. Long before any excavation begins, mine rehabilitation is planned in consultation with local and First Nations communities.

And those whose job it is to make mining more sustainable? Environmental scientists, Indigenous engagement specialists, cultural heritage advisers, hydrogeologists, social performance advisers… mining has a career for everybody.

Demand for our minerals and metals – and highly skilled employees – will only grow. The industry added another 40,000 jobs in the past five years and over the next couple of years aims to provide 5000 new apprenticeships.

Renewable energy is also driving demand for resources. Australia is fast becoming the supplier of choice for a low carbon future, whether it be silver, silicon and copper for solar panels, lithium for battery storage and electric vehicles, or vanadium, cobalt and rare earths for wind turbines.

So whatever your age, gender identity, cultural background, sexual orientation, physical ability or caring responsibilities, with so many jobs on offer there has never been a better time to consider a career in Australian mining!

Tania Constable

CEO, Minerals Council of Australia

Find out more at minerals.org.au/make-your-career-mining

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