As commodities plummet, gold has maintained a spot at the top, and is now turning the tide of employment in the industry.
Although it is very clear that the mining boom is indeed over in Australia, gold exploration and production continues to be a lucrative business for the mining industry. As iron ore continues to plummet and the giant miners consider their next moves, junior and large gold mining operations are seeing an influx in need for employees.
Read on for an update on the gold mining industry across Australia.
Australia’s Most Remote Goldfield Up and Running
It may have taken a lot of work, but Australia’s most remote goldfield, ABM Resources’ Old Pirate gold mine, is up and running. The site sent its first truckload of ore to the processing plant this month, marking a big win for the company.
The operation has required plenty of effort and a large number of employees. On any given day, in these early stages of production, there are around 100 people on site at Old Pirate, including contractors. A new head office in Alice Springs employs around 60 people.
To get the site up and running, the mine camp and the access roads needed tremendous work: the roads are still being redone.
“The Tanami road […] has got some good bits and some bad bits,” Darren Holden, managing director of ABM Resources said. We get a lot of equipment arriving broken mainly because of the state of the road and the shaking that goes on.”
The Federal Government has set aside $100 million for the work on these dilapidated roads.
Gold Mine Contract goes to Watpac
The Kathleen Valley gold mine is now in new hands. Watpac has won the bid for Ramelius Resources newly approved gold mine. The contract— valued at $17 million—puts Watpac in charge of surface mining works, which includes topsoil removal, load and haul, drill and blast, and dewatering.
“This is Watpac’s third project with Ramelius and is testament to our approach of working closely with our clients,” Watpac managing director Martin Monro said.
Work will be carried out at the operation’s Mossbecker and Yellow Aster pits, over a 12-month period. The green light came in the middle of May, with work beginning on the site almost immediately.
The Good News Continues
The job market in the Western Australia mining market has gotten a little better over the quarter, at least in regards to the gold industry. The influx of employees at gold mines can be explained by a number of job cuts across the board at iron ore mines, specifically the closure of Atlas Iron’s operations.
Queensland is seeing demand for candidates ready for an immediate start on short-term contracts for DIDO, especially those with current medicals and inductions (coal), and maintenance supervisors with fixed plant experience and mining engineers with ability to improve efficiency.
Western Australia has an increased need for underground electricians to meet demand as gold production ramps up, and residential geologists in Kalgoorlie are needed.
Maintenance planners are still in high demand, albeit crews are working with fewer members to service the same amount of equipment.
The number of skilled candidates on the market has risen, meaning companies can now wait for the best hire to come their way.