Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an orebody, lode, vein, seam, reef or placer deposit. These form a mineral deposit that is of economic interest to the mining companies.
Australia has a booming mining industry and is a lead exporter of many natural resources such as gold, uranium, aluminium, lead, iron ore and coal. Mining is an exciting career choice with many diverse challenges but with a rewarding outcome.
Many items used in our daily lives such as your smart phone, to even medical equipment are manufactured using minerals and with more demands for energy, there is an increased need for Mining Engineers.
Mining Engineers evaluate, plan, and oversee the construction and running of a mine. They’re involved in a project through all phases of mining operations. This includes exploration and discovery of mineral resources, feasibility studies, mine design, development of plans and production, scheduling, operations, processing and even marketing. They are still involved at the mine closure stages, including final land restoration and rehabilitation.
Mining Engineers design and develop techniques, machines, and equipment fleets, which are used to extract mineral deposits. They ensure that the mines are safe and are fully optimised to extract mineral resources. Mining Engineers then ensure that the mineral deposits are extracted and transported from mines in an environmentally friendly manner using methods like resource rehabilitation after the mining process is complete to improve the ecosystem. Thus, you will find Mining Engineers ensuring workplace safety through inspections and utilising the most effective processing methods for mining excavations.
As a Mining Engineering student, you can choose to undergo flexible learning in your first year and then specialise in Mining Engineering in your second year. You will still learn the basic concepts of engineering in your first year of study regardless of which path you choose. Upon the basic subjects such as chemistry, physics, geology, and mathematics, you will also learn:
These courses will prepare you to become a qualified mining engineer to be able to locate and extract minerals and natural resources in a sustainable manner from the Earth through laboratory and field work experience.
Mining Engineers can work in a diverse set of environments and companies. It is a misconception that Mining Engineers only work in mines. As the world is becoming more developed, there is an increased demand for natural resources which is where mining engineers come in. Mining Engineers can work in:
They can also work both indoors and outdoors depending on the position in laboratories, offices and offshore on mine sites. Many international companies also offer travel opportunities both nationally and internationally.
You will require:
There are many different lifestyle choices that you can pick as a Mining Engineer ranging from remote work where you can choose to fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) or drive-in-drive-out (DIDO). Thus, you can work for some weeks on site at a time and then take some time off afterwards.
Remote work also offers excellent working benefits not limited to accommodation, food, cleaning services, recreational facilities including gyms as well as an in-built community with social events.
You can also work in an office closer to home and even focus on digital mining which uses automation to mine minerals reducing time spent underground.
Within Australia, many Mining Engineers work in Western Australia and Queensland.
Outside Australia, the top countries with a huge demand for Mining Engineers include:
To pursue this path in Australia, you can start with the Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) (Honours).
Dual degrees with Mining Engineering are also a popular option with many of our students. The skills developed with a Mining Engineering Degree can be applied in many areas within the resources industry but also in banking, finance and investments.
You can apply for a graduate program or entry level role upon graduation or further your education by studying a postgraduate coursework program in Mining Engineering to gain a more competitive stance.
After two to three years of graduate experience, you will be classified as a professional Mining Engineer. This field will allow you to register with the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy after five years of industry experience and Engineers Australia after three years of experience as an accredited Mining Engineer and connect you with opportunities. You can also register with Association of Professional Engineers Australia (APEA) for professional accreditation.
Hear what our current students have to say about Mining Engineering: