MINING workers in the Pilbara have been offered weekly flights from Busselton to Rio Tinto’s iron ore mines in the East Pilbara following increasing labour shortages.
The flights will link the expanding population of the South-West with mining operations at the West Angelas, Hope Downs and Yandicoogina mines.
“Given the tight labour market across Australia, and our plans to expand our production capacity, it is essential to provide employees with lifestyle options.
The option of a FIFO commute from a regional town to a mine is growing in popularity,” Rio Tinto managing director Pilbara mine operations Dr David Smith said.
The company has commenced recruitment in the south-west, adding to the 80 existing employees who have chosen to fly from Busselton instead of Perth, according to Dr Smith.
“We’ve had a lot of interest from people who want to live in a rural and coastal setting, and benefit from a quick and direct link to the professional and trade jobs in mining,” he said.
Around 70 people now commute from Geraldton to the West Pilbara, with 20 Indigenous people commuting from Broome to the East Pilbara.
“We plan to recruit more than 1,000 people in the next year to add to our 5,000 current employees.”
Dr David Smith