Mining a major player for our future growth
A booming mining industry offers opportunities in a large range of fields, writes Thomas Conlin.
SOUTH Australia is tipped to become a major player in the global resources landscape, with the industry optimistic of huge employment growth in the near future.
A recent exploration boom is behind the optimism for thousands of jobs to be imminent – and not just for workers with university degrees.
The industry offers a diverse range of employment opportunities, including an increased demand for trades.
Contract mining and civil construction company Lucas Earthmovers chief executive Ben Lucas says that while the company has recruited great new people from the state’s universities, the industry has opportunities for other qualified workers.
‘‘We are finding that there is a real need for people from trades, especially in areas such as diesel fitters and mechanics,’’ he says.
‘‘The exciting thing is that you don’t just have to be an engineer or an operator of plant equipment to be involved in the mining industry. Many other trades are required on these locations as well.’’
The industry offers the opportunity to work on both civil and contract projects, Mr Lucas says.
While SA is now the lowest mining employer among mainland states, a recent report by Deloitte Access Economics says the state is a ‘‘world-class minerals province, with almost 40 per cent of the globe’s known recoverable uranium reserves as well as significant volumes of copper, gold and silver.’’
The number of people employed in mining in SA has fallen below 8000, from a peak of more than 12,000 in 2007, as a result of reduced production caused by the global financial crisis.
But sentiment has been spurred by a recent increase in investment within the state.
Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in April show that investment in mining in SA rose by 7.6 per cent to nearly $1.5 billion in the last quarter of 2010, compared with a 3.5 per cent rise nationally.
Lucas Earthmovers surveyor Sam Baum with a GPS Rover, used for marking out drill patterns in preparation for blasting.