What they do
Mining engineers plan and supervise the processes involved with extracting minerals from mines. They are often heavily involved in developing new mines, including assessing whether a mineral deposit can be profitably mined, and also research new techniques and processes to improve the efficiency and safety of mines.
Specialisations include: Process engineer (mining engineer)
Mining engineers may work in offices, laboratories or on mine sites. Depending on the type of mine, those working on-site may work outside in most weather conditions, or underground in cramped, enclosed spaces.
Mining engineers work in mines all over 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. Often they must be prepared to live on site away from home or work on a fly-in, fly-out basis, which involves working on site for a period of time and then returning home for a break. Many mine engineers work for large, global companies and may be required to travel overseas for work.
Tools and technologies
Mining engineers use a variety of tools and equipment, including computers, surveying equipment and two-way radios. Mining engineers who are located on a mine site will also have to wear safety equipment, including protective eye-wear, hard hats, gloves and hearing protection. They will also need to be familiar with the operation of a range of specialised mining equipment.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a mining engineer you usually need to complete a degree in engineering, majoring in mining. You may need to complete further postgraduate study to specialise in mining engineering.
Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.