The CostMine 2012 Survey of Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits is the only factual source of information that I know of on the salaries of technical, managerial, and administrative folk who work on Canadian Mines. The data come from fifty-six metal, industrial mineral, and fossil fuel mines. Fourteen are underground operations; thirty-three surface mines. Size ranged from one million to five million tonnes ore or product mined annually.
Let as start with the Secretary; we all know and like them. And as one fellow said to me yesterday: “I could not function without her—she keeps me informed and on track.”
In the eastern region of Canada, the secretary’s wage ranges from $40,200 to $56,000 with an average of $50,800. In the western region the range is $47,100 to $63,400 with an average of $59,100. A big difference—does it reflect differential living costs, more productive mines, or just the hammer-clout of fossil (oil sands) mines? This cannot be, for the average salary for an Administrative Assistant in the east is $55,500, and in the west it is $52,000. Maybe they just define secretary and administrative assistant differently across the country. In fact the Secretary, on average, at metal mines makes $53,700 a year; at diamond and industrial mineral mines $40,200; and at fossil fuel mines $59,000. Diamonds are not the secretary’s best friend.
But then, consider: the eastern accountant on a mine gets, on average, a salary of $76,500 whereas the counterpart in the west gets, on average $91,600. Guess accountants know how to look after the money.
Here are a few more ranges and averages for engineers and geologists (numbers in thousands of dollars per year; the first is the low, the second the average, and the third the upper; these are totals across the country.)
- Senior Engineer: 94/122/177
- Mine engineer: 66/91/126
- Metallurgist = 52/86/115
- Senior Geologist = 90/118/155
- Environmental Coordinator = 63/96/183
I am impressed by the mine environmental coordinator whose salary is $183,000 per year. The mine must have some profound environmental issues.
I see little signficant difference in salaries at surface versus underground mines. But there is a difference by commodity. Here are some numbers: the first for metal mines; the second for diamond and industrial mineral mines; and the third for fossil fuel mines. All in thousands per year.
- General Manager = 200/156/191
- Mine Manager = 144/124/168
- Mill Superintendent = 128/114/153
- Mine Engineer = 91/75/93
- Surveyor = 68/59/66
- Personnel Manager = 109/98/111
A word of caution. These are but a few of the many numbers in the CostMine report. I highlight only those that interest me today. Do not get upset if your salary is way below—keep in mind fifty percent of folk get less than the average.