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Is the new boom beginning?

Is the new boom beginning? < >

  • June 10, 2016 | 3:12 am
  • Mining Employment,Mining Facts and Stats,Mining News,Mining People, Places & Lifestyle
Mining Employment

Many are saying the mining industry has turned the corner and is approaching the beginning of a new boom. Predictions are that exploration will begin to increase and new companies floated on the ASX. Of course, I am not a financial whiz, but if history can be used as a predictor then job vacancies will increase, suppliers will begin to expand their business again and eventually (and perhaps most importantly) new operations will begin.

Never say die….Is the new boom beginning?

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Apprenticeships

We recently posted a link on our Facebook page to an apprenticeship role on SEEK and it was our highest viewed posting for 4 weeks. Apprenticeships in Australia are available to anyone of working age and it is not essential to have completed a secondary school certificate and they are available in more than 500 occupations. An apprenticeship is a great way to start a career and there are many required in the mining and resources industry.

To learn more, click here

 Mining Facts and Stats

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Lithium is the new boom commodity, where the developers of Lithium projects are seeing a company’s share price boom as is evident in the below graph from Bloomberg.com.

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The demand is being driven from the move to electric vehicles and batteries for solar panels. The price of Lithium has risen from around $US2000/tonne to more recently $US7000/tonne.  While this is great for the producers and future employees at these operations, for the end consumer, the price of electric cars and batteries will be impacted. A Tesla, for instance, uses 50 kilograms of lithium in its batteries.

Lithium used in batteries comes from three sources; hard rock mining, battery recycling and evaporation of brine in salt ponds.

Mining People, Places & Lifestyle

Last blog, I talked about residential mining towns and the pros and cons of living and working in a mining town. What about FIFO roles and whether these are a fit for your circumstances?

FIFO rosters range from 8/6 (8 days on, 6 days off), 9/5, 14/7, 14/14 through to 4 weeks on/1 week off and in some instances, it can be an equal time roster.

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What are the pros of FIFO?
  1. R&R time off gives you enough time to fully ‘recover’ from the long hours and shift work
  2. Home and work life are separated
  3. Opportunity to spend quality time with your family when on R&R
  4. With some rosters and leave entitlements, taking an R&R term with annual leave can provide 2 lots of 3 week holidays a year
  5. The only thing you have to do aside from work is your personal laundry whilst on site
  6. If single, you do not spend as much money while on site so there is the possibility of establishing more savings
  7. The wide range of facilities on most sites are of a high standard and generally you would not have a similar range so close to your own home
  8. Site friends, usually become friends for life as you do form friendships quicker when living and working with the same people
  9. The opportunity to learn about other roles in mining is easier as you meet other employees in different departments and sometimes different companies
What are the cons of FIFO?
  1. Family and friends do not always picture what it is like to live in a small mining camp
  2. Miss significant events back at home (birthdays, concerts, sporting events)
  3. Relationships can have issues as one partner can feel as if they are running the house as a single person/parent
  4. Hours and rosters can be long and tiring
  5. Some people feel constrained by the camp lifestyle, as some are almost prison like in their layout (see below)
  6. When new to site, it can be a challenge to get to know people in a large site
  7. Lack of variety for meal options as some places may have 2 or 3 main meals each night
  8. Many people in the recent downturn did not think the boom would end and did not plan for the future

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