A Copper Mine in Miami, Arizona, USA – Photo Courtesy: Mike Beauregard
If you still havenâ€™t decided about the career you wish to enter when you leave university, why not consider something rather tasty in the mining industry? Or perhaps you already work in an engineering field and are considering making a jump across to this incredibly lucrative and varied line of work?
If either of these scenarios should apply to you, please take a few minutes to read this article.
The Mining Industry Today
In a world that is currently suffering from economic recession, it is surprising to note that the mining industry has never been stronger. The overall demand for minerals is increasing as a result of the huge population boom expected over the next half century.
Mankind also needs to be cautious when extracting these vital minerals from our Earthâ€™s very core. The technical expertise required to obtain these products in such a way involves an incredible amount of training and educating. The mining industry is crying out for scientists and qualified engineers to allow it to continue functioning in a correct manner.
What Is A Mining Engineer?
A qualified mining engineer needs to hold responsibility for the extraction of certain minerals from the earthâ€™s core. The minerals in question are valuable metal ores, coal, oil and diamonds. They need to understand the best practices and methods required for drilling vast holes into the crust without causing substantial damage to the environment.
Knowledge of geology, rock mechanics and engineering, all combine to allow the mining engineer to dictate the best techniques for this extraction process. These minerals are not sustainable and the methods required to mine them in a correct manner are becoming more and more difficult as the demand continues to rise.
How Do I Qualify?
Various universities currently host a number of mining engineering courses at present. Alternatively, a geology degree is sufficient to allow an individual entry into the mining business. Should you decide to choose the mining engineering course, you would be studying basic engineering principles at first and then some geology theories would be studied.
At some point during this 3 year course, you would be expected to obtain some real work experience. You may be expected to find these placements yourself and often a spell overseas will allow you to get some practical knowledge. Many students are offered positions in mining and mineral companies before the university course ends. They will still need to complete the degree and are expected to get a very impressive pass.
Where Will I Work?
Your future employer could be from any corner of the globe; mining is a truly international industry and you may be surprised at the variety of locations you are offered. Some mining engineer graduates may decide to work in a different field within mining. Whatever area of expertise you decide to settle into, you will always find that your skills are fairly transferrable within the mineral and mining industry.
The Future Of Mining?
At some point in the distant future, there is a real possibility that some minerals will be completely depleted. Mining techniques are now starting to focus on new methods that will possibly find minerals from recycled or contaminated land. The mining engineerâ€™s expertise will no doubt play a big role in this vital exercise.
Mike Ross works as a supervisor atÂ Mine Site Construction Services, an engineeringÂ company in Western Australia. He enjoys soft music in his spare time.