Mining & Resources

"NSW mining is a world-class $20 billion industry creating jobs, growth and prosperity across the State." STEPHEN GALILEE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE NSW MINERALS COUNCIL

The mining and resources industry is big business for the Australian Economy. It is intrinsically linked to our economic future and global influence. The Minerals Council of Australia lists the current value of exports generated by the minerals industry as $205.8 billion, making it one of the top five producers of most of the world's key minerals commodities. Surprisingly, it is also the largest employer of environmental professionals in Australia today.

Western Australia is often the first place that comes to mind when thinking about the mining and resources industry. But we don't realise just how developed the industry is elsewhere in Australia and indeed the world.

Mining is a global industry, and skilled workers can choose from a huge diversity of positions that take them right around the world, often to beautiful and remote locations. Here in NSW, we're lucky that the best of these opportunities can actually be found in our own backyard. Mr Stephen Galilee, the CEO of the NSW Minerals Council, says "NSW mining is a world-class $20 billion industry creating jobs, growth and prosperity across the State. Our miners underpin economic progress both at home and around the world by supplying the coal needed to fire power stations and to make steel. And we produce gold, silver, copper, zinc and other metals needed for many other products we use every day."

The mining and resources industry employs 239,000 people in Australia. In NSW, Mr Galilee says that around 90,000 people are directly employed in mining and minerals processing and another 300,000 jobs are supported indirectly. "The resourcefulness and ingenuity of our dedicated workforce - past, present and future - puts our country in a strong position to benefit from the many rewards that the mining industry provides," he says.

Committed to reducing negative impacts on the environment, the industry is hiring graduates with an understanding of emerging research and technologies that can help increase operational efficiency while decreasing waste and emissions. The NSW Minerals Council set a target of a 60 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and created a billion dollar industry fund to help reduce greenhouse emissions from the burning of coal.

The number of graduates from an environmental and geosciences background is rapidly growing, andtheir work is across every stage of a mine. For example, when planning a new mine the importance is placed on environmental management and testing, including water quality, sediments, rock cores, geographical information systems to urban and rural planning, which includes rehabilitating mine sites upon completion of work.

Mr Galilee says, "From the fields of engineering and metallurgy to surveying and environmental work, our hardworking NSW mining professionals enjoy an enviable track record of innovation and problem-solving and are always striving to achieve new breakthroughs. It is in this spirit that our NSW miners will continue to approach the challenges of the future, and we welcome all interested women and men to join us."

Statistics and salaries

The Minerals Council of Australia has a range of facts and figures about the industry and career prospects:

  • Responsible for 8% of Australia’s GDP in recent years
  • Direct employment in the minerals industry was 249,000 in late 2013

Average salaries:

  • Environment: $120,000
  • Exploration: $150,000
  • Management: $180,000
  • Operations: $137,000

Source: Hays Specialist Recruitment and the Minerals Council of Australia

Industry bodies

Courses to consider

Consider enrolling in one of the following courses and majors to prepare yourself for a career in Mining & Resources.

Our courses: