Summary of occupation
Mine managers are responsible for planning, organising and supervising the activities of a mine. They are responsible for planning future mine production, overseeing the development and tunnelling of the mine, checking the quality of stone, rock and minerals and inspecting the mine for danger. Mine managers also carry out generic management duties, such as hiring staff, organising staff training, overseeing financial administration, and liaising and negotiating with suppliers, contractors and other stakeholders. They also ensure occupational health and safety guidelines are followed, which includes planning and overseeing maintenance of the mine and developing emergency response plans.
Plans, organises, directs, controls and coordinates the production activities of a mining operation including physical and human resources.
Mine Manager, Mine Production Manager, Mine Superintendent
Mine managers work in mines and offices throughout Western Australia, from the mineral sands mines in Bunbury and the South West, coal mining in Collie, gold mining in Boddington and the Goldfields, to iron ore mining in the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions. They often work at mines in remote locations and may need work on a fly-in, fly-out basis. Depending on the type of mine, they may work outside in most weather conditions, or underground in cramped, enclosed spaces. Most mines operate 24-hours a day, so shift work may be required, which can include working nights, and on weekends and public holidays. The work can often be dangerous, so strict safety policies must be followed and enforced to minimise risks.
On average, mining production managers can expect to earn between $4 615 and $5 383 per week ($240 000 and $280 000 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a mining production manager develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.
Mine managers use a combination of office and mining equipment. When in the office they use standard office equipment, including computers with specialised mining software. When on mine sites they need to be familiar with a range of explosives and heavy machinery, including drilling equipment, diggers, trucks and rock-cutting devices. They must also wear safety equipment including overalls, a hard hats, safety glasses, steel-capped boots, hearing protection and reflective clothing.
To become a mining production manager you must hold a First Class Mine Manager's Certificate of Competency, issued by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. In order to qualify for the mine manager's certificate you must have completed an engineering degree majoring in mining, have five years practical mining experience (including three years underground), have a current Apply First Aid Certificate and be at least 25 years old.
Mining engineering degrees are currently offered at two universities in Western Australia.
Curtin University offers a four year Bachelor of Engineering (Mining Engineering). The final two years of the course are delivered at the Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) in Kalgoorlie.
The University of Western Australia offers a two year Master of Professional Engineering with a specialisation in mining engineering available. Prior to enrolling in the masters program students must complete a three year undergraduate degree majoring in engineering science.
Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.