With so many sectors such as energy, food production, construction and transportation dependent on mineral products, the mining sector has become a popular career choice, offering many wide-ranging global job opportunities. Here we look at some of the latest developments in one of the most vibrant industries and examine some of the reasons that make a career in this sector so enticing.
A booming sector
To put the influence of mining into perspective, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani recently said that “45% of the world’s economic activity is driven by the mining sector”, an industry which by the way only takes up 0.04% of the world’s land, compared to the 50% occupied by agriculture, “literally the smallest footprint relative to our economic contribution than any other industry”.
It is a sector that is booming, bolstered by the start of the economic recovery post-pandemic. The price of copper recently rose to its highest mark since 2011, fuelled by the demand from the US and in particular China. Given its use in the batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs) and high tech devices, and its importance in helping achieve a low carbon future, lithium is another metal that’s much sought after. This shift towards a greener future will also drive demand for other base metals, such as zinc, which is mainly used in the galvanisation of steel and iron in the construction and automotive sectors.
The mining industry is a big employment provider, creating many job opportunities for the extraction of minerals from the earth. Although it can sometimes be physically tough, a career in mining brings many benefits.
Want to explore a career in mining?
Here are some of the reasons that make mining such a rewarding career:
- Earning potential – mining is quite literally one of the best paid jobs with miners often able to command very high salaries. Even though remuneration levels can fluctuate depending on market prices, the sheer demand for mining talent makes this one of the most lucrative sectors to work in. The significant and constant need for mining professionals makes job security another key selling point.
- Variety of work – there are so many diverse opportunities in mining, from working underground to above ground, from exploratory roles such as geologists to general management and operations. There are jobs for a range of specialist experts, from construction workers and equipment operators to highly qualified engineers and metallurgists through to key back-office functions such as HR.
- Excitement and evolution – mining is like no other job and will suit more adventurous individuals. There is the adrenaline rush of working in a sector where you’re discovering and unearthing new metals. Every day brings a new challenge and you constantly evolve with your job, learning news skills daily.
- Technology & training – as a sector mining is at the forefront of technology innovation thanks to advances in machinery and computerised tools to not only make mining jobs more efficient but also safer. This means that people need to be trained on new equipment or procedures, so there is lots of scope to learn new skills and expand your career prospects.
- Global dimension – given the international presence of the mining sector and the locations of various natural resources, one of the big selling points of a career in mining is the possibility to work virtually anywhere in the world. Those entering or already in the industry will be able to take advantage of the many global job opportunities that the mining industry provides.
Whether it’s copper, zinc or lithium, the demand for metals and extracting minerals from the earth continues to rise given the many uses of the mineral products across so many sectors. As an industry, it has a big impact on local communities, not least in terms of employment. And importantly, as Cutifani reminds us, “we are the key to decarbonisation and creating a long-term sustainable planet”.
From a work perspective, job opportunities in mining are bountiful across the world, offering existing and prospective employees with the chance to grow and develop their skills in a unique setting and environment. It’s a career with so much variety and many rewards, not only financially but also in terms of career growth and development.
You can check out all our latest mining jobs on our dedicated Jobs page.