Digging Up a Good Deal

(6 votes)

Breaking news: the mining boom is over. In further breaking news: the mining boom isn’t over. This is the way the Australian mainstream media have been reporting on the mining industry in recent months. Yet avid readers of minetalk will know that no matter what the doom and gloom merchants say, there is still money to be made in mining.

The numbers don’t lie.

$126 billion is the approximate sum of mining investment some industry experts are arguing Australia can still expect to benefit from in the short-term.

With commodity prices rebounding and exports of Australian minerals rising, there are plenty of opportunities left for those looking to fatten their wallets in the mining game.

Indeed, mining’s top dogs are still raking in the big bucks. Newcrest Mining CEO Greg Robinson reportedly still earned over $2.5 million in 2012 despite the GFC and China slowdown. 

Earlier this year minetalk took a look at the top paid jobs in mining. But how much can smaller players in the mining game expect to earn?



These (often bearded) dudes are vital to mining. The core business of a geologist is to locate and map mineral deposits as well as assess the grade of ore bodies. A love of rocks and access to khaki pants is essential.

Wage range: $90k - $200k

Electrical/Electronic Engineers:


Mining has come a long way from the humble days of digging by candlelight and today the industry is reliant upon a vast array of electronic systems. To keep mining sites operational Electrical/Electronic Engineers perform a number of different duties, including: planning, designing and managing the power systems of a mining plant. 

Wage range: $100k - $200k

Underground Miner:


This is the job-type that springs to mind for the average person in the street when they think of the word ‘miner’. Far from the traditional visage of surly blokes with dirty blackened faces and headlamps, these days Underground Miners are more likely to be found wearing high-vis gear and operating highly specialized equipment to safely extract, load and transport ore and rock for processing back on the surface.

Wage range: $80k - $200k

Equipment Operator:


The veritable backbone of the mining game, these workers are responsible for operating a range of machinery to help dig up and transport what’s in the ground and get it ready for processing. Equipment Operator is a blanket term used to describe workers who operate the following machines: jumbos, trucks, excavators, bulldozers, graders and scrapers. If nothing else, their job just sounds cool and is the envy of kids playing in sandpits worldwide.

Wage range: $85k - $200k

As can be seen, there is a stack of dosh left to be made out of mining. While the hefty paypacket of a mine owner, or mining company CEO might not be realizable for all, $200k is still a pretty good wicket that generally turns many other professionals green with envy.



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o BHP A$30.33 ▼0.79 (-2.54%)
o Rio Tinto A$57.87 ▼0.68 (-1.16%)
o Fortescue A$1.95 ▼0.07 (-3.47%)
o Newcrest A$12.29 ▼0.13 (-1.05%)


Company ID [ASX:BHP] Last trade:A$30.33 Trade time:4:10PM GMT+11 Value change:▼0.79 (-2.54%)

Rio Tinto

Company ID [ASX:RIO] Last trade:A$57.87 Trade time:4:10PM GMT+11 Value change:▼0.68 (-1.16%)


Company ID [ASX:FMG] Last trade:A$1.95 Trade time:4:10PM GMT+11 Value change:▼0.07 (-3.47%)


Company ID [ASX:NCM] Last trade:A$12.29 Trade time:4:10PM GMT+11 Value change:▼0.13 (-1.05%)


Minetalk Poll

Is the mining boom in Australia over?

Is the mining boom in Australia over?

No, it's just media hype.
Yes as a result of lower demand.
Still plenty of resources.
There will be a second boom.
1 Votes left

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