Top tier miners’ pay packets still heavy

A key salary survey has revealed chief coal mine managers are taking home about the same pay packet as Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott.

The survey said companies are still handing hefty pay cheques to top line workers during the slump.

The Stellar Recruitment Salary Guide said mining companies have slashed around 10,000 workers from Queensland and New South Wales ventures since early 2012.

The Guide said high industry incomes will be safeguarded, the News Mail reported.

Cost cutting measures will continue as coal prices show no upward trend in the coming year.

These measures mean companies will not recruit staff and will save money through staff reduction and attrition, replacing them only if required.

Last week was a blood bath for the industry, with a slew of jobs cut in a matter of days. Companies like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, UGL, Boart Longyear and many others have all downgraded profit outlook as mining investment slumps.

Mine general managers in Queensland earn between $300,000 and $380,000 a year.

Even the top truck driver or excavator will probably earn about $140,000.

The story seems similar in Western Australia.

Companies will be looking to cut measures like fringe benefits to save money.

Stellar mining division manager Matthew Gibbs said worker incentives and bonuses were cut but ‘for some key positions, housing, rosters and other incentives have still been on offer to attract high-quality candidates”.

The Federal Government’s mining experts said in May $150 billion worth of mining projects were shelved or delayed in the past year.

Companies have also stopped hiring internally or externally in that time but that appears to be changing.

“Most mining companies have taken the last year as an opportunity to review their operations and make significant changes to the base cost,” Gibbs said.

“This has concluded with shelving capital expenditure, expansions and exploration.”

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