Miners Snap Up Graduates as Industry Booms


"After one year of experience, graduates 'come back six feet taller.'"

Reuters, Karen Norton

New mining graduates are in high demand as the industry booms, and they can expect to walk straight into well paid jobs across the globe, an academic at Britain's only mining school said on Monday. "These are pretty halcyon days. Our graduates are pretty well sought after, particularly in Australia. That's a big market for us, and South America," said Andy Wetherelt, programme director for the B.Eng mining programme at the Camborne School of Mines (CSM) in Cornwall.

"It's very buoyant at the moment. A first-class student can expect two, or even three or four job offers. People are queuing up to take them."

CSM, which was founded in 1888, is part of the University of Exeter in Devon. Aside from mining and mineral processing, CSM courses cover geology and renewable energy.

Wetherelt said the boom was across the mining industry, but in metals was especially strong in iron ore and gold.

The number of undergraduates at CSM has been rising in recent years, and it currently has 33 first-year students. Some 26 students graduated last week.

Wetherelt said the global financial crisis, which led to a sharp but brief drop in metals prices, had only a slight impact on interest in graduates from mining and consulting firms.

Jobs are plentiful again now, and students are snapped up quickly.

"We get close to 100 percent take-up if our graduates aren't going into post-graduate studies."

It is no surprise, therefore, that new recruits are well remunerated.

In Australia, a starting salary for a graduate of around A$105,0000 ($111,000) is not unusual, with a rise to A$110,000 to 130,000 ($116,000-$137,000) within a year, according to Wetherelt.

"They come back six feet taller; it's a great life experience," Wetherelt said.

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