Atlas Iron flags need for 1,000 mining jobs

 Atlas Iron chief executive David Flanagan says the Pilbara iron ore miner might need an extra 1,000 workers within three years to feed its expansion projects.

Atlas is the latest in a string of resources companies to bring in 2012 with ambitious mining jobs claims, indicating the skills shortage will continue to be a problem for miners this year. 

Last week officials at Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal said entry level mining jobs were now regularly attracting more than 400 applicants.

 The company said due to the high level of interest in mining jobs trade and industry maintainer positions filled “quite easily”.

 Late last week WA Goldfields-Esperance Workforce Development Alliance president Ron Mosby told the Kalgoorlie Miner there would be 10,000 job vacancies in the area in 2012.

He said finding the right applicants was tough and the region was directly competing with the state’s booming northwest. 

Gindalbie also announced last week it was seeking 200 fly-in-fly-out workers for its Karara iron ore mine in WA’s mid-west.

The company said its job campaign would be focused on skilled tradespeople in WA’s south and mid-west areas. 

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released last week also indicated mining jobs were in demand across Australia.

 While total job positions in Australia have fallen by 181,000, the new figures showed resources states QLD and WA were still hungry for mining jobs, posting a rise in available positions.

 Like other companies in the Pilbara, particularly BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Fortescue Metals Group, Atlas is pursuing aggressive expansion targets.

 The company is focused on ramping up production from six million tonnes a year to 15mtpa by 2015.

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