Archive | November, 2008

Getting a job in the mining industry.

24 Nov

Of late I’ve had a few people emailing me about getting jobs in the mining industry.  My response has always been that its pretty bloody hard to enter the mining industry if you don’t have any mining experience, sought after qualification, transferable skills or a contact already in the industry.  If you have none of the above then it will be very challenging, but if there’s a will there’s a way.

Read my article below that I had published in ‘The Press’ (New Zealand Newspaper). It outlines my point of view based on my experience entering the mining industry and working in the industry and seeing how it works.

The Press – The great Australian mining myth – by Mark “Hap” Cameron

Now add to the above challenges the “global economic crisis”.  This has hit the mining industry hard, as the halt on development has meant that the raw minerals are not required, eg at Woodie
Woodie (my mine) we are mining Manganese which is used in the production of steel -as a hardener- , and with our main Market being China whose smelters  have shut down, it means that no one is buying Manganese.  So its not a very good situation when you have no cash inflows, especially in mining when the costs of running a mine are so high.  The company I work for has closed (put on care and maintenance) one of our other 3 mines and the other one has been downsized by half, leaving only Woodie still running as usual, with the hope that the forecasts are correct and the market picks up come the New Year.

So now in an industry that only a couple of months ago was booming and couldn’t supply enough qualified workers to meet the demand, the tides have turned.  Now the mining industry is plagued with words such as; redundancy, downsizing, shutting down, cost cutting, employment freeze etc.

So with all this going on, the mining labour market will be swamped with experienced mine workers applying for a limited number of jobs, thus making it even harder to break into the industry.

Anyway, thats my thoughts, don’t let me put you off (haha), good luck.

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ERT trip to Telfer Mine

15 Nov

Last swing I went over to neighbouring mine Telfer with the Woodie Woodie Emergency Response Team.

Each mine has an Emergency Response Team (ERT) as they have to be self sufficient in all aspects including emergencies, due to there isolated nature.  The ERT team plays the role that a Volunteer Fire Brigade does in towns, ie attending fires, vehicle accidents, plane crashes, chemical spills, rope rescues, search and rescue etc.

The Telfer Training involved a bush fire and search and rescue exercise. These are two scenarios where our ERT teams (Telfer, Nifty and Woodie Mines) would have to join forces and help each other due to our isolated nature from other mines and towns. It was a great day (not too mention night), and learnt heaps from the Telfer guys. Check out the photos below. 

Next week I’m attending a 4 day Cert 3 Mines Rescue Emergency First Responder course which is an advanced first aid course based on being the first person on the scene. I’ve been studying for this the past couple of months and I’m really looking forward to it as it goes into detail about anatomy and the functioning of the human body etc, so learning heaps.  I will post some photos of the course if I get the chance to take any.

A little family holiday and my first Wedding!

13 Nov

HI folks,

Its been a while since my last blog post. This is due to my being over on the East Coast of Australia spending time with the Family.  The reason for the trip was because my cousin was getting married.  The funny thing is that yesterday I turned 27 years old, and the wedding was my first I had attended (this due to being stranded overseas and penniless for mates previous weddings).

view from apartment over beach

So what did I get up to over on the East Coast, nothing too crazy, good ‘ol’ family times.

Mandy and Karlye in her shop "The End"

Mandy and I rented a car and took an overnight trip down to Byron Bay which is known for its hippy’s and great surf.  Ozzy friends from a previous chapter in Banff now live there and I was luckily enough to meet up with Karlye at her trendy little clothing shop she opened up last year, its called “the end”, check it out if your in Byron.  Karlye told us all the cool places to go and where to stay.  Although the weather wasn’t the best and everywhere in our budget was booked, meaning we had to stay just out of town at the mullimbimby country pub, we enjoyed the cafes, foods and markets.

My kind of painting

Then we spent the next 4 days with my family on the Gold Coast in a pretty flash apartment my Aunty Jill had arranged. But unfortunately apart from the first day the weather didn’t come to the party, overcast and rain greeted us most mornings as we pulled the blinds over the 29th storey views of the Gold Coast.

view from the room

Not only the weather, but the family health wasn’t shinning either.  Quite a memorable moment occurred one night.  Dad who hadn’t been feeling well the whole trip due to a virus had been up all night dry heaving and mum who got up to see how he was doing ended up passed out in the bathroom.  So at midnight I was confronted with Mum and Dad both lying on the bathroom floor.  Not the best way to see your parents, although probably better than walking in on them having sex! I reckon they were just trying to get myself and my sister back from last year when it was her and I lying on the ground after our rope swing accident that saw us both rescue helicoptered to hospital. 

Dad feeling better

They weren’t lucky enough to get the helicopter and had to suffice with the ambulance. We spent the rest of the night in the very busy Gold Coast Hospital having front row seats to the Melbourne Cup aftermath. The ER Docs and Nurses really do a great job and have to put up with a lot of intoxicated ungrateful people.  I officially give them all a gold star and a smiley face stamp for good work.

A walk along the beach

But all was well and a day later we left behind the ill health and bad weather of the Gold Coast and headed up to Brisbane where all my Ozzie (Australian) side of the family live. The sun shined and the laughter roared as we all reunited. 

Mandy and I stayed with my Cousin Craig and his girlfriend. I hadn’t seen Criag since 8 years previous when I had lived and worked on the Gold Coast during a university summer holiday, infact it was that working holiday that planted my seed to travel.

The wedding was great, and for my first wedding it set the bar high. But anyway, enough of my talk, its getting all pretty boring and I could go on, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

The New Zealand Cameron Family:

The NZ family photo

Myself and Mandy having a little glass of bubbles before kick off.

Me and Mandy

The beautiful bride and groom (bottom photo ;))

The lovely bride and groom

Idiots, myself and Craig

Myself and cousin Craig

I told dad I would delete this photo, but then thought it would be more amusing to post it on my blog.

I said I would delete this one Dad, but I decided to put it on my blog instead.