Australia: Study reveals an increase in mining numbers
A study authorised by the Minerals Council of Australia, and undertaken by tech firm CoverCard, reveals strong employment resources despite the pandemic.
The Covic-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the mining industry both in Australia and around the world. Despite this, it has been reported by CoverCard that employment has remained very strong, particularly in the resources sector.
Both Western Australia and Queensland have seen an increase in job advertisements in the mining industry is in Q2 2020. Western Australia saw a growth of 4% whilst Queensland saw an increase of 5%.
CoverCard collected the data by evaluating trades and skilled mining job trends from over 193,000 job advertisements across the minerals sector. The study is one of the largest of its kind in four years.
MCA CEO, Tania Constable commented, saying: “The sector is holding its ground relatively well in the face of a global pandemic.
Another 8 785 mining job ads were added to the research study in the last quarter. While that’s lower than the 9 242 job advertisements identified in the previous quarter, it shows that mining jobs have stayed strong even in the face of an unprecedented global pandemic.”
Both states are thought to lead Australia’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as the minerals industry remains strong, despite struggles in many other industries and areas of employment.
In addition to the analysis of employment and job availability in the sector, CoverCard also revealed that licensed qualifications saw a rise in demand during the quarter. This suggests that job ads for trades and skilled roles have shot up in comparison to professional roles.
The report also highlighted the robustness of trades and skilled recruitment has increased in relation to professional corporate roles. The share of the sector’s job advertisements referencing fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) went up in the March 2020 to May 2020 quarter to 22.8%, which is noticeably higher than the long-run average of 18.2%.
Constable made further comments saying: “The CoverCard analysis not only allowed the industry to identify the key roles and skills in demand for the industry, but also to target initiatives that support local skills development initiatives in regional communities to access these jobs.
“Australian mining is proud to offer more job opportunities both during and in recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and is doing more to recruit more people to the highly skilled, highly paid jobs which mining offers”.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.