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Minerals Week 2022: 8 Innovative Roles in Australia Mining to Explore

You might be a bit like us and have a vague awareness of the minerals and mining sector but haven’t explored it much in recent years.

It wasn’t until we started chatting with some of our employer partners that we realised how exciting and innovative the industry is!

There are more than 100 careers across the sector within mining sites, high-tech remote centres, science, and computer innovation. Technology is boosting the entire industry, and there’s never been a better time to see where a career might take you.

With the Minerals Council of Australia’s Minerals Week 2022 kicking off today  – you know what we had to do! Keep reading to uncover some of the innovative careers you could start with today.

What is Minerals Week?

Minerals Week runs from the 5th to the 7th of September and is the industry’s opportunity to celebrate the mining sector’s contribution to the Australian economy.

It’s also a chance for different organisations and groups to explore key issues, challenges, innovations and successes together!

These can be highly varied but include:

  • Trends driving demand for Australian mineral commodities.
  • The factors impacting investment in Australian mines and minerals processing.
  • Ensuring the industry remains a competitive and reliable global supplier.
  • The priorities, opportunities and risks for Australian mining.
  • Technology and collaboration opportunities between the space industry and Australian mining.
  • How technology and innovation achieve net zero emissions and create a safer and more sustainable mining industry.
  • How Australian mining can keep progressing towards eliminating discrimination and harassment and position mining as an industry of choice.

What Minerals are Mined in Australia?

According to the Minerals Council of Australia, Australia has the world’s largest economic demonstrated resources of mineral sands, brown coal, uranium, nickel, zinc and lead!

Australia ranks in the world’s top six for bauxite, black coal, copper, gold, iron ore and industrial diamonds.

For a full list of the minerals mined in Australia, head over to the Minerals Council of Australia website (there are some pretty cool pictures of what each of these minerals looks like, too!).

8 Innovative Roles to Explore in Australia Mining

The mining industry is undergoing significant technological developments, which is creating heaps of new roles alongside opportunities to upskill for existing workers.

Career paths could involve managing a team, rehabilitating mine sites, building robotics or piloting drones, engineering machinery, safeguarding native plants and animals, or tackling climate change.

Let’s take a closer look:

  • Geophysicist: Geophysicists study the physical structure of the earth, including rocks, oceans, gravity, and magnetic and electrical fields. They aim to understand the earth’s origins and how different components behave in different environmental contexts. Their expertise is instrumental across new and existing mining sites in understanding the layout and make-up of the earth in these sites.
  • Driller: Drillers oversee the drilling of holes in the earth to extract oil, water, natural gas and minerals. An important aspect of the job is supervising drilling rig movement, installation, maintenance and operation. Drillers may also collect earth samples for geophysicists to study further, as well as operate pumping equipment.
Mine Planning
  • Mechanical Engineer: Mechanical engineering is among the most diverse engineering fields. Engineers in this area of industry focus on the study of objects and systems in motion. Mechanical engineers research, design, build, test, maintain and improve all equipment required to help a mining site run efficiently and safely.
  • Mining Engineer: Mining engineers are some of the core engineers within a mining site, working in strong partnership with other engineers and mining labourers to plan and supervise the processes involved with extracting the required minerals from mines. They play a core role in planning and developing new mines and researching innovative techniques and processes to improve mine safety and efficiency.
  • Virtual Reality Developer: Virtual reality is a growing career path within mining – and one that looks set to become a prominent part of the industry! Training new miners in real-life scenarios can be notoriously dangerous. Virtual reality developers are working to create mining scenarios that new workers can practice and train in to prepare for their real-life work conditions.
  • Remote Systems Technician: Remote systems and vehicle exploration is another growing part of the mining sector. Remote systems technicians manage, maintain and operate all of the technical requirements related to remote operations.
Community Engagement
  • Indigenous Engagement Specialist: Community engagement is a huge part of the mining sector to support local groups, protect habitats and native land, and maintain environmental biodiversity with minimal disruptions. Indigenous engagement specialists work as the connection between indigenous groups and mining companies to manage relationships, prepare information and provide advice and guidance.
  • Social Performance Advisor: Similar to indigenous engagement, social performance advisors work with stakeholders and business leaders to help them connect with the local community focusing on how the mining sector supports these groups in ways that add value and boost community cohesion, especially in rural communities.

As always, this is just touching the surface of the expanse of opportunities available across mining!

This includes roles in business and organisational support and a full range of growing roles in AI and robotic technology. We highly recommend downloading the free Make Your Career in Mining booklet from Minerals Council Australia to explore these careers further.

Explore More With Our Employer Partners

At Explore Careers, we’re incredibly proud to partner with the Minerals Council of Australia. They’re a perfect first point to head to if you’re keen to learn more about working in minerals and mining.

You might also want to check out Engineers Australia for all things engineering across the sector and to discover more about your potential entry into the sector.

We’ve also had some super exciting interviews recently with some of our employer partners in the mining sector – and we’ve learned heaps! If you haven’t already, watch our recent chat with Logan, an Automation and Product Engineer with Newscrest (it’s seriously worth it!).

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