There is a lot of talk about where all the mining jobs are and whether you should move to a mining town to look for work, so we are going to take a look at one of these mining towns – Mount Isa.
About Mount Isa:
What Others Are Reading…
Mount Isa is an outback town in Queensland that is less than 200km from the Northern Territory Border.
Home to almost 22,000 people directly and even more in surrounding areas (source), the towns is home to the ‘Mount Isa Mines’ that are operated by Xstrata – one of the world’s largest mining companies, with over 70,000 employees.
What is Mined in Mount Isa?
Xstrata Mount Isa Mines operates two separate mining and processing streams, copper and zinc-lead-silver at Mount Isa. (Source)
As well as servicing the domestic needs for these minerals, the Mount Isa Mines also service 16 additional countries – including North and South Asia, Germany and England.
The Mines Include:
- Mount Isa Zinc
Mount Isa Mines zinc operations include an underground zinc-lead mine George Fisher located approximately 20km north; two open pit zinc-lead mines Black Star Open Pit in Mount Isa and Handlebar Hill. Open Pit neighbouring the George Fisher Mine; a concentrator; and a lead smelter.
- Mount Isa Copper
Mount Isa Mines’ Copper operations include two underground mines, a concentrator and a smelter.
Mining Jobs in Mount Isa
Xstrata directly employs over 1,000 employees and a lot more jobs are created through contractors because of the Mount Isa Mines.
FIFO or Residential Positions?
Almost all (if not all) Xstrata positions in Mount Isa are residential positions, meaning that you either have to be currently living in the area or able to get accommodation (not provided or subsidised by Xstrata). While there are limited FIFO positions (with contractors) advertised on job websites, the majority residential, so this is something that you will need to keep in mind if you are looking to work in the area.
Mining Companies Servicing Mount Isa
The following companies are just several of the companies that service the Mount Isa mines.
Does this Mean You Should Move to Mount Isa?
As most positions are residential, moving to Mount Isa could be a great opportunity to find work in the industry. The things you should keep in mind when making this decision are:
- Accommodation Can Be Expensive
As with any mining town, there is usually a lot more people needing accommodation then is available. This creates a drastic increase in rental prices so make sure you do your research before you head out to Mount Isa.
- No Job Guarantee
Just because you are heading out to the mining town doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed a job offer. This is why you shouldn’t jeopardize your current financial situation if you cannot afford to make the move.