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Case Study

Name: Darren
Location: OZ Minerals- Prominent Hill
Role: Leading Hand Pit Technician
Lives: Port Augusta

1. What’s your current role in mining?

I’m a Leading Hand Pit Technician for OZ Minerals at their Prominent Hill mine in northern South Australia.

2. Have you been in your current role long?

I’ve been in my current role for about three years.

3. What was your first job in mining?

In my first role in mining I worked as Grade Control doing sampling.   Since then I’ve been promoted to the Leading Hand role.  It definitely gave me a foot in the door for a mining career.

4. Did you need to do some training or gain some experience before you entered the mining industry? What was it?

I didn’t do any specific training for the Grade Control role and I had no experience in mining, however I had a background in construction and had experience driving bulldozers, bob cats and fork lifts.  I also had my Heavy Rigid Truck licence which helped.  My previous role before working at Prominent Hill was actually in Correctional Services and this gave me great skills in working with a diverse range of people, which was really useful.

5. Did you apply for many jobs within the sector before you were successful?

This was the first job in mining that I applied for, but I was really prepared for the interview and had solid experience that they were looking for.

6. What’s your best advice to people applying for jobs in the SA mining sector?

My advice would be to never to give up on your dreams and ambitions. If you really want to do something, stick at it. Even if you aren’t successful the first or second time you can get in there, as persistence pays off.

7. How long have you been in the industry now?

I’ve been in the industry just over 4 years now.

8. What is it you like most about your job?

There are a lot of things that I like about my job, the pay is great, but I am really enjoying working outdoors and doing hands on work. The job I had prior to mining I was working in an office for 11 years, so it’s nice to get back outdoors. It’s also great that I am working with a team which all get along very well.  We have a smallish team compared to other teams on site and we’re a close knit team which is good.

9. What’s the biggest challenge in your job?

To keep the team spirit up and to keep the high standards up that we’ve come to expect, that really my biggest challenge.  Helping to the keep production up is challenging as well.

10. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve learnt about the industry while working in it?

In our role, we can do a lot of other different jobs that don’t necessarily look like our job descriptions.  We help other department’s onsite when it’s a bit quiet.  So flexibility is really required in the role and actually gives us a good amount of diversity, so not every day onsite looks the same.

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