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Mining support worker

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Summary of occupation

​Mining support workers assist in operating equipment such as continuous mining machines or mineral ore processing plants. They assemble and dismantle mining equipment, load and unload tools and materials, load chemicals into ore processing plants and clean and wash equipment. They may also gather ore, rock and dust samples.

In Western Australia, mining support workers may work in many parts of the State from the mineral sands mines in the South West, coal mining in Collie, gold mining in the Goldfields, to iron ore mining in the Pilbara and Midwest regions.

ANZSCO description: Performs routine tasks in mining and mineral ore treating operations such as assembling, operating and dismantling mining equipment, taking ore, rock and dust samples, and mixing ore treating chemicals and catalysts.
Alternative names: Mineral ore processing labourer
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A mining support officer needs:

  • to enjoy manual and technical work
  • to follow workplace health and safety procedures and work safely
  • to be physically fit, with an ability to do heavy lifting
  • logic and problem solving skills
  • good communication skills
  • to work well as part of a team.
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Working conditions

​Mining support workers often work at mines in remote parts of the State and must be prepared to live on-site away from home or work on a fly-in, fly-out basis. They may work in above ground or underground mines and conditions can be hazardous. They must follow workplace health and safety standards and wear protective clothing to minimise any associated risks.

Mining support workers may work long hours involving shiftwork, weekends and public holidays.

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Salary details

​On average, mining support workers, classified under other construction and mining labourers, can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a mining support worker develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

​Mining support workers use mining equipment such as continuous mining machines or mineral ore processing plants. They maintain fluid pumps and conveyor belts, mix ore treating chemicals, and maintain and drive four-wheel drive vehicles. They must also wear personal protective clothing (PPE) such as reflective clothing, steel-capped boots, hard hats, goggles and earplugs.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

​To become a mining support worker you usually need to complete a traineeship. The fieldworker (mining), underground mining hand, and metal processing plant technician traineeships usually take 12 months to complete.

Related courses

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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.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

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.

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