How did you get a start in mining? Tell us your story

“If it wasn’t for a chance meeting I’d probably still be working at the local Toyota dealer for peanuts”

One of the questions we constantly get here at Australian mining is how to get that elusive first job.

Most jobs require experience, but getting that experience requires a job.

It’s a catch 22 situation and whilst there are plenty of recruiters out there willing to get you a job in the industry, many will want cash up front cash to guarantee you a job.

But what if you are a hard worker and you simply don’t have the money (or don’t want to waste it) on one of these guaranteed recruiters?

That’s not to mention the scams that have targeted entry level mining jobseekers, and even this website. It makes getting a start in mining a veritable minefield (pardon the pun).

So for all those working underground and as driver, drillers, graders and blasters, we want to ask you to help those looking to get a start in to the industry.

Tell us your story of how you got your break.

One of our Facebook fans Peter Ladner, who works as a driver on a copper mine was kind enough to set the ball rolling with his story of getting a start in the industry:

“I moved to Mandurah from Darwin for a better chance at a mining job after a fruitless year of applications. I have twenty years experience as a mechanic (lv fitter) but always got knocked back because I had no mining experience.

I went to my wifes high school reunion and met one of her old school mates who was a shift supervisor with Hamptons Mining at DeGrussa copper mine. He personally handed in my resume with his recommendation to HR.

Two months later I got my start as a dump truck driver and now six months on I’m on a 16g grader and I can apply for better paying jobs because now I have that elusive mining experience.

I love being an operator and dont think I’ll ever go back on the tools. If it wasn’t for a chance meeting I’d probably still be working at the local Toyota dealer for peanuts.

I get alot of people now asking me for advice and whether I’d hand in their resumes, I do what I can to help and I have helped a few get a start.

I still find it hard to believe that after hundreds of applications and lots of what I thought was relevant experience it turned out to be a case of who you know.

Cheers, Peter.”

Peter’s experience reinforces the old addage that it’s all about who you know, not what you know.

It might be a little jarring to hear for an aspiring miner, but the truth is that getting that first start might mean a bit of persistance, and finding a networking connection you may not have known you had.

What about you? Was it a chance meeting? Did you have an especially crafty plan to get you in? or did you save up the cash and go through a rectruiter? Did you spend time in higher education?

We would love you to tell us your story in the comments or if you prefer you can send your story to or hit us up on our Facebook page.

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