You can’t turn on the television lately without hearing something about the mining industry boom being over, but the simple facts are that this is not the case. About five days ago I received a call from a mate of mine who drives cranes for a large logistics contractor in the Bowen Basin.
After the usual teasing he began to explain to me the problem they are having in finding new riggers and dogman needed to work on their fleet of cranes and meet the current demand. “But I thought things were slowing down out there?’ I replied with more than a hint of sarcasm. His reply: “Although 2011 was extremely busy, at the moment it has come back to earth a bit but is definitely not slow.”
On October 5 Kinetic boss, Derek Hunter, was quoted during an interview as saying “while the overall demand for minerals has dropped over the last few months there is still plenty of activity in the sector.” He also went on to say that in Queensland alone at least 16000 machine operators, 6000 graduates and 7000 tradespeople would be needed to meet the demand between now and 2015.
One thing we must consider when making a judgement on the future of mining in Australia is the intelligence of the mining companies who have invested so much in extracting our natural resources. Companies such as Rio Tinto, BHP and the like have not acquired mining leases and set up shop to just shut down after a couple of years. These multi-billion dollar companies are in it for the long haul and would not have begun to turn dirt in Australia if they saw no long term potential.
So what does that mean for you? Well, really not much has changed. The mining industry in Australia is strong and mining companies and contractors still need a skilled workforce to help meet demands. There are about 26000 mining jobs Queensland is offering alone that will be available between now and 2015. So if you are interested in a mining career, go for it! Get the qualifications you need to be eligible for one of these jobs and put the effort in to get one.