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Myth Busters

Myth: Anyone can get a mining job

Reality: For each single job advertised in the mining industry there can be more than 5,000 applicants. Securing a job in the mining industry requires the right qualifications, skills and aptitude for each particular role. To find out more about the skills you need for the job you want, visit our pathways portal, identifying yourself as a Finishing School, Starting from Scratch, or making the Move to Mining from another industry.

Myth: Mining jobs are dangerous

Reality: Major incidents on mine sites are extremely rare and the safety of workers on mine sites is the number one priority for operators and other businesses involved in the mining industry.  This ‘front of mind’ approach to Occupational Health and Work Safety is reinforced with pre-work “tool-box” meetings and stringent hazard reporting.  Job applicants with training in OHWS are well regarded within the industry.

Myth: Mining jobs involve lots of manual labour

Reality: The diversity of jobs in the mining industry means that you can find yourself on the tools in a mine site, or in a state of the art office building in the CBD. What’s more, many jobs that are used to involve manual labour have been automated or are now completed by high-tech machinery. For more information on the types of jobs available in the mining industry, click here.

Myth: All mining jobs involve work underground

Reality: Just a small percentage of jobs in the mining industry involve work underground. Many mine sites within South Australia have open cut elements to their mining method and at all sites there are plenty of “above ground” roles. For more information about roles in the mining industry, click here.

Myth: Mining is a great way to make some fast cash

Reality: Like in any industry, mining can be a lucrative career for a candidate with the right skills and experience for their particular role.  Mining is like any other industry, it faces upswings and downturns and commodity price issues, with the resulting growing and downsizing workforce. Keep in mind that pay rates and salaries vary widely depending on the particular role, where you are prepared to work and the field you want to specialise in. You can find out more about expected salaries and pay rates here.

Myth: All mining work is FIFO (Fly in Fly Out) or DIDO (Drive in Drive Out)

Reality:  Not all mining jobs involve work in remote locations.  Other mine sites, such as Roxby Downs, Coober Pedy, Kimba and Wudinna are located close to regional towns where it is possible for you to live close to work within great country communities. You could also, for example, find yourself behind the desk of an office in the CBD. For more information on the types of mining jobs available, click here.

Myth: You have to live at a mine site to work in mining

Reality: The bulk of mining jobs are locted on the mine site, however not all mining jobs involve work in remote or regional locations. In fact, you might find yourself working in a high-rise in the CBD.  Other roles, especially within the environmental and geophysics field require work away from the actual mine for monitoring and evaluation. For more information on the types of mining jobs available, click here.

Myth: Mining is a ‘blokey’ industry

Reality: Women represent 18% of the mining workforce in South Australia, significantly more than the national average of 15%, and this number is only increasing.  SA’s mining industry encourage the participation of women within their workforces and actively work towards equality onsite. For more information on diversity in mining, click here.

Myth: Sure, we’re having a mining boom, but I’ve heard it’s going to be short lived. What happens to my job then?

Reality: It’s true that mine sites go through lifecycles. But the mining industry is built on the back of careful planning – one that ensures the future and job security of the people who make it happen on a daily basis. Like any industry, there is always the potential for job uncertainty, however, mining has experienced strong growth that will continue for years to come.

Myth: All mining jobs involve shift work and difficult rosters

Reality: Many jobs onsite are based on a roster/shift rotation. It’s true that certain types of jobs in the industry work on a roster system, so if you think this type of lifestyle won’t suit you, it’s best to consider a role that will provide a better fit with your lifestyle. Not all mining jobs involve shift work.

Myth: People that work on mine sites are ‘rough’

Reality: When many people think of ‘miners’ they often recall black and white photographs of men covered in coal dust. These mining images of the past are no longer a reflection of modern mining. Growth and advances in the mining industry over the past 100 years means that it attracts people from all walks of life, who are guided by principles of integrity, determination and professionalism. ‘Rough’ workers need not apply.

Myth: Working on a mine site is boring

Reality: Day to day life on a mine site is varied, challenging and extremely rewarding. Like any job, there are peaks and troughs and a certain level of routine. To find out more about what life is like on a mine site, click here.

Myth: Miners work hard and play hard

Reality: We’re all familiar with media stories that paint workers in the mining industry as young, cashed up party people who can’t wait to blow their pay. The reality is that the mining industry is made up of a mix of young, single workers, families, mature workers – all men and women with varied lifestyles, with personal and professional goals who spend their leisure time in different ways. While onsite, there is a zero tolerance alcohol and drug policy.

Myth: Only young people can get a mining job

Reality: The variety of roles available for workers in the mining industry requires a diverse set of skills and different levels of experience, some of which can only be provided by more mature workers.  Your willingness to absorb, learn and follow best practice procedures is what makes you valuable onsite, at any age.

Myth: You have to pass a fitness test to work on a mine site

Reality: Many mine sites in South Australia are located in isolated sectors of the state and companies running mines need to know that you are fit enough to cope with the work conditions you will be placed under.  Fitness testing may include testing of blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, hearing, basic fitness and weight.  It’s not a Sports Institute fitness test, but one to ensure you are healthy for work.  Also, all mine sites have a zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol onsite, you will need to be prepared to undertake these regular tests if you want to work within the industry.

Myth: Only people with experience in the mining industry get mining jobs

Reality:  Within the mining industry, there are plenty of applicants per advertised job, so experience and training are highly attractive selection criteria.  However, the rapid growth of the mining industry has created opportunities for workers who have transferable skills from other industries. Find out more about making the Move to Mining.