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Mining Ramps up in Western Australia

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Mining ramps up in Western Australia

With key announcements from the world’s biggest miners committing a combined $9.5 billion to iron ore projects in Western Australia, does this signal the start of the next jobs boom?

Managing Director of Titan Recruitment, Craig Van Heurck said ‘we are feeling the start of an upward trend as we are seeing increased client demand for key personnel as these projects start to ramp up’.

If you’ve missed what the fuss is all about, the three projects that you must be across if you are looking for engineering and technology career opportunities are:

Fortescue Metals Group - Eliwana

The first of the announcements came in May when FMG announced board approval had been granted for an estimated               US $1.2 billion development of its Eliwana mine and rail project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Fortescue’s Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines said ‘the Eliwana Project will build on Fortescue’s development and construction capability, utilising the latest technology, autonomous trucks and design efficiency while redeploying existing assets to this world leading development.’

Construction commencement is pending and consists of a new mine, ore processing facility and 143km rail would create up to 1,900 jobs for its construction phase.

BHP - South Flank

BHP has approved US $2.9 billion for its South Flank project located in the central Pilbara which will completely replace the production from its Yandi mine which has reached the end of its lifecycle.

The South Flank project will encompass substantial mine development including construction of a crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system, stockyard and rail loading facilities. Mine construction is already underway and is set to create around 2,500 jobs.

Rio Tinto - Koodaideri

The world’s second largest iron ore miner, Rio Tinto, announced its plans to start developing its Koodaideri iron ore mine also located in Western Australia’s Pilbara, and touted as one of the world’s most technologically advanced.

The initial work on key infrastructure is expected to commence in 2019 subject to final funding approval later this year. According to Rio Tinto, Koodaideri will be its first intelligent mine incorporating the latest in high-tech advances in the industry and utilising an increased level of automation and robotics.

The project will create over 2,000 jobs during construction.

With these announcements comes the charge for people, and Titan Recruitment is currently working with several clients in tackling their human resource needs across engineering and design through to project administration.

Team Leader of our Resources & Energy division, Anthony Blair, says ‘Miners are preparing to gear up for the first phase of construction which will require mechanical, electrical and structural engineers. Project control type positions, within the cost control and planning disciplines, are also in the mix.

‘Likewise for administration professionals, with the pace picking up for project administrators, secretaries and document controllers to support the project teams as they expand in size’.

With reports that these new mines are amongst the most innovative in the world with increased automation and robotics, some industry experts are anticipating the emergence of job roles that did not previously exist.

‘From a technology perspective with the convergence of IT/OT there will likely be several traditional IT positions reclassified due to the advancement of intelligent technology. An example would be a digital applications data architect which has evolved from the adoption of large-scale data and analytics’, explains Mr Blair.

For any jobseeker who has had their sights set on entering the mining industry, now is a good time to weigh up the opportunities and connect with experienced recruitment professionals who can provide the knowledge and advice to get your foot in the door.

Mr Van Heurck said ‘the big producer effect is only the start, and the flow on benefits to other businesses who are directly or indirectly involved in mining means it’s good for people, jobs and the Western Australian economy’.

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