This article is provided by Independence Group (IGO) – proud platinum sponsor of Curtin Careers Fair 2019, and attendee at the Kalgoorlie Careers Fair 2019.
It’s time to abandon the idea that jobs in the mining industry are only for ‘men at the coal face’. The industry offers an amazing range of career opportunities in an extremely diverse range of roles for a diverse range of people. From environmental science, engineering, finance, chemistry, public relations, IT, health and safety, geology or human resources – there are countless options for work in the mining and resources sector.
Independence Group, or IGO as we like to call ourselves, is an Australian company with a big vision. Our teams are finding and producing the specialist metals that will make energy storage mobile, efficient and effective enough to make long-term improvements to the lifestyle of hundreds of millions of people across the globe.
We are bold, passionate, fearless and fun – a smarter, kinder, more innovative company and we want to welcome more people into the mining community by busting a few myths about careers in mining.
Myth: Only men work in mining
False. While the mining industry still has a long way to go to achieve gender equity, encouraging progress has been made. At IGO, around 30% of our workforce is female. Of these women, 28.5% are in senior or management positions. IGO actively supports improvements to the industry’s gender ratio by finding innovative ways to attract and retain more females into mining and our business e.g. offering paid parental leave, options to work flexibly and a focus on learning and development to maximise opportunity.
Myth: Mining doesn’t help the sustainability of the planet
False. Thanks to the growth in popularity of electric vehicles (EV) and renewable energy, there is a rising demand for batteries to power EVs and/or used to store energy. These batteries are made with a significant amount of nickel, copper and cobalt – commodities that are produced at IGO’s 100% owned Nova Operation in the Fraser Range of Western Australia. Making and storing energy in this way will reduce the reliance on and use of fossil fuels, resulting in sustainable power generation for a cleaner planet.
Myth: Mining companies don’t care about their social impact
False. While it can’t be denied that some companies in the mining sector, like other sectors, provide some terrible examples of operating in a socially irresponsible way, across the industry, times have changed. The last 10 years have been a time of social revolution and seen the rise of a ‘social license to operate’ for all businesses. There is now an expectation on mining companies to demonstrate social responsibility in a whole range of ways, beyond just providing employment and paying taxes. It is expected that local and aboriginal communities, most impacted by mining activities, derive direct and sustainable benefits from their mineral wealth.
Positive social outcomes from mining include increased employment for local people, support for local businesses, training and educational initiatives for local communities, and cocreation and collaboration on community development projects. IGO has a long history of working with local communities and social responsibility. We not only support, but also regularly consult with, community leaders and aboriginal elders to discuss how our operations impact them. IGO also supports communities directly impacted by our operations, by engaging in a Corporate Giving program, focused on improving the health and education of communities where we work.
At IGO we like to call this Making a Difference. To keep up with how IGO is making a difference, follow us on LinkedIn.
Myth: Working in mining means I’ll be on a dirty mine site in the middle of nowhere
False. Well, not entirely true anyway! Some mine sites are in regional parts of the country, while others are relatively close to communities, towns, even major cities! It really depends on the company and the mine you work for. It also depends on the job you do – some jobs aren’t at a mine site at all. Many of the roles at IGO are based in our Perth office and travel to a mine site or regional location as required.
At IGO, we have Drive-In-Drive-Out options for people that want to live in Kalgoorlie, Esperance, or other regional centres, or Fly-In-Fly-Out jobs from Perth.
Our Nova mine site is only in its second year of commercial production – it is new by comparison to many others, and we know that it is important for us to provide you with good living conditions. As a result, there are some real positives about living in a mining village such as sporting facilities, healthy meals cooked for you, cleaning services (so you don’t have to), pay TV, internet/wi-fi, a tavern and social club and a very low cost of living, which means you can be focused on saving for something you want to achieve. Not to mention the opportunities to travel – sometimes around the world!
Myth: The mining boom is over; mining jobs are scarce and unstable
False. Australia is, and has always been, a world leader in the mining industry and job vacancies have recently been increasing as more companies invest in exploration, develop projects and expand existing mining operations. There are plenty of opportunities ahead!
Myth: Mining is just for geologists and engineering types
False. Mining is a business like any other. It needs everything from accountants, lawyers, administration staff, contract officers, payroll, human resources, safety, health and wellness roles to roles in information technology, robotics and automation, data processing, analytics, financial modelling, corporate communications and many other areas! Before you jump to conclusions that what you love to do couldn’t be done in mining, talk to one of our human resources representatives. You might be surprised at what you hear!
For students and graduates, the mining industry presents exciting prospects when looking at a future career. Technology, innovation, and above all great people, are the backbone of the industry. IGO offers vacation and graduate opportunities which can give you a real kick start for a career in mining. For more information on our programs, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.