Searching for Mining Jobs? Must-Read Guide to Australia’s Mining & Resources Projects

Searching for Mining Jobs? Must-Read Guide to Australia’s Mining & Resources Projects

With FIFO and contractor job ads on the rise and billions of dollars? worth of projects in the pipeline, it’s no secret that Australia’s mining and resources space is gathering momentum.

From what we?re seeing in the market, specialist engineering positions will be highly sought-after in 2019 and beyond as major copper, gold, iron ore, lithium and coal mines come online. To prepare for the increased activity, the Peopleconnexion team have put together a short guide to some of the country’s majors projects that are underway or upcoming:

1.    Carrapateena

Image source: OZ Minerals Carrapateena UBS Australasia Conference 2018

OZ Minerals? $916 million cooper-gold project in SA is well and truly underway, with Ausenco nearing the completion of plant design and Downer in full flight on the ground. AECOM is still progressing strongly with the underground infrastructure and materials handling with KBR project-managing both segments.

The site’s 556-room Tjungu village and airstrip have recently wrapped up their construction phases, with development of the communications network now also nearing completion.

Judging by recent announcements from OZ Minerals, Carrapateena is a sign of things to come for the Adelaide-based owner-operator. Since commencing work on Carrapateena, OZ Minerals have acquired a 51% stake in the ex-BHP West Musgrave project in WA and have extended the mine life of the Prominent Hill mine in SA through to 2030.

 ?Carrapateena construction is on track for first concentrate production in Q4 2019 and a progressive stream of projects will potentially advance to construction in the coming years, including West Musgrave in Western Australia and Pedra Branca and CentroGold in Brazil.?

– Andrew Cole, OZ Minerals CEO

2.    South Flank

Image source: BHP

As BHP’s largest-ever iron more mine, the $5.1 billion South Flank project in Pilbara, WA is making waves in the mining and resources space for more reasons than its sheer size.

The Pilbara project has been an opportunity for BHP to focus on increasing female participation in the project workforce, providing additional

The development of South Flank is part of BHP’s strategy to replace the Yandi mine and meet growing demand from China, resulting in a mega-mine capable of producing 80 million tonnes of iron ore per year. To get a sense of the scale of this project, watch the video of the project’s first blast below:

Over $1.5 billion worth of contracts have already been awarded, with major contacts going to Jacobs (engineering and consulting), Fluor (project and construction management), Clough (EPC ? non-process infrastructure), CPB (construction ? bulk earthworks, concrete and underground) and Primero (subcontract for EPC on fuel facilities).

3.    Tanami

Activity in one of Australia’s most prospective gold mining regions is finally heating up. In addition to acting as the home of one of the country’s most well-known FIFO gold mines, Tanami is also a current hotspot for potential gold mining activity, and the site of multiple prospective exploration ventures. According to a recent research report, Newmont’s Tanami project is well on its way to Tier 1 status given the growth of reserves and potential for further mine expansion.

Image source: Newmont

In September, the Encounter Resources-Newcrest Mining JVs received seven new licences for exploration in Tanami covering over 4,400 square kilometres. Approvals for exploration over an additional 900 square kilometres is expected to be granted by the end of this year.

One month later, Gladiator Resources received approval from NT’s Central Land Council to kick off a drilling campaign within the North Arunta project. Earlier this month, the four-week drilling initiative commenced at Kroda, which will inform final detailed assay results to be released in early 2019.

The prospective developments don’t end there ? Prodigy Gold is also looking to throw their hat in the ring, hoping to raise up to $8.8 million from shareholders to finance exploration of future Tanami projects.

Should exploration and initial drilling results prove to be promising, we will be looking at a major wave of demand for professionals with materials handling expertise in the Tanami region post-2019.

4.    Mt Arthur Coal

Earlier this year, Thiess secured a $1.2 billion contract to operate BHP’s Mt Arthur Coal in the Hunter Valley. Expanding on the existing agreement, Thiess will now be responsible for design, planning, scheduling, drill and blast operations, mining and overburden removals.

Projects to watch:

As I touched on in my last article, first steps are underway for Rio Tinto’s $2.7 billion Koodaideri iron ore mine, Fortescue’s $1.3 billion Eliwana project in Pilbara, Chevron’s $5.1 billion Gorgon expansion and Santos? Arcadia project.

If you?re looking into this space, it’s worth keeping an eye on these projects over the next month and into 2019, particularly for design roles.

5.    Sconi Project

Image source: Australian Mines

After being acquired from JV partner Metallica Minerals in September last year, there is finally news on the horizon for the Sconi project.

Last week, Australian Mines released a bankable feasibility study into their cobalt-nickel-scandium project in North Queensland, revealing an estimated capital requirement of $1.35 billion to develop the site.

If approved, the Sconi project would be operational after 2021 and supply materials for SK Innovation, one of South Korea’s largest companies and EV battery manufacturers.

6.    Kemerton Lithium

Albemarle’s $1 billion proposed lithium development in WA received environmental approval from the state government earlier this month, and is now one step closer to becoming a reality. If developed, the mine would produce 100,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide when operational to meet increasing demand for lithium battery materials.

Last week, Albemarle also entered an exclusivity agreement with Mineral Resources, signalling their intention to acquire 50% of the lithium Wodgina project in WA.

7.    China First Coal Project

Previously known as the Galilee Coal Project ? Northern Export Facility, this proposed $6.5 billion project is likely to create a ripple effect in the Galilee basin if approved.

Waratah Coal has proposed the development of a greenfield open-cut and underground coal operation and 453 km rail line to Abbott Point to support coal exports to China. The design and construction of this rail line may support Adani’s case to build the rail line required to support the proposed Carmichael Coal Mine.

8.    Adani Carmichael Coal Mine

Adani’s long-awaited Carmichael Coal Mine in the Galilee Basin has been given the green light by the Indian energy giant. The project is intended to be 100% self-financed and will be a scaled-down version of the original planned development, beginning on a small scale and eventually ramping up to produce 27.5 million tonnes per year. 

With a promising period in Australia’s mining and resources sector ahead, there is growing demand for specialist mining engineering professionals in 2019.

If you?re currently searching for a fresh challenge and a pivot away from short-term contracting positions, we currently have some incredible opportunities open with a wide range of major EPCM consultancies and niche firms offering opportunities to join some of the country’s major projects:

Ahead of increased activity in the industry, we are keen to explore future opportunities with you and are accepting expressions of interest for the following positions predicted to be in high demand:

  • Mechanical Engineer (Design and Project Management)
  • Structural Design Engineer
  • Project Controls (all functions)
  • Electrical Commissioning Engineer
  • Civil Superintendent
  • Structural Drafters
  • Mechanical Drafters
  • Electrical Drafters

If you would like to submit an EOI, please send me a LinkedIn message or send your updated CV through to

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