What they do
Mine managers are responsible for planning, organising and supervising the activities of a mine. They are responsible for planning future mine production, overseeing the development and tunnelling of the mine, checking the quality of stone, rock and minerals and inspecting the mine for danger. Mine managers also carry out generic management duties, such as hiring staff, organising staff training, overseeing financial administration, and liaising and negotiating with suppliers, contractors and other stakeholders. They also ensure occupational health and safety guidelines are followed, which includes planning and overseeing maintenance of the mine and developing emergency response plans.
Mine managers work in mines and offices throughout 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. They often work at mines in remote locations and may need work on a fly-in, fly-out basis. Depending on the type of mine, they may work outside in most weather conditions, or underground in cramped, enclosed spaces. Most mines operate 24-hours a day, so shift work may be required, which can include working nights, and on weekends and public holidays. The work can often be dangerous, so strict safety policies must be followed and enforced to minimise risks.
Tools and technologies
Mine managers use a combination of office and mining equipment. When in the office they use standard office equipment, including computers with specialised mining software. When on mine sites they need to be familiar with a range of explosives and heavy machinery, including drilling equipment, diggers, trucks and rock-cutting devices. They must also wear safety equipment including overalls, a hard hats, safety glasses, steel-capped boots, hearing protection and reflective clothing.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a mining production manager you must hold a First Class Mine Manager's Certificate of Competency, issued by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. In order to qualify for the mine manager's certificate you must have completed an engineering degree majoring in mining, have five years practical mining experience (including three years underground), have a current Apply First Aid Certificate and be at least 25 years old.
Mining engineering degrees are currently offered at two universities in Western Australia.
Curtin University offers a four year Bachelor of Engineering (Mining Engineering). The final two years of the course are delivered at the Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) in Kalgoorlie.
The University of Western Australia offers a two year Master of Professional Engineering with a specialisation in mining engineering available. Prior to enrolling in the masters program students must complete a three year undergraduate degree majoring in engineering science.
Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.