Just in from CostMine is the 2012 Survey Results for African Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits. This is a first and sure to become a staple of the mining industry and for all those who work or seek to work or mine in Africa. I cannot tell or comment on all in one posting. So here follows a brief survey of the continent as a whole—in future postings I will look at the data for individual countries.
First three points on the salary of the Mine General Manager:
- Mauritania = $350K
- South Africa = $176K
- Zimbabwe = $128K
Everything else scales down from these salaries. For example, consider these data on the salary of a mining engineer:
- Ghana = $183K
- Tanzania = $161K
- South Africa (10 to 40 years experience) = $146K
- South Africa (1 to 10 years experience) = $ 65K
- Mozambique = $75K
Beware overinterpretation of these numbers. For as the Survey points out:
Although not presented, our data shows a significant discrepancy between national and expatriate salaries for most of the African countries (excluding South Africa). These range widely, with the gap seeming to reduce slightly with seniority. For example, nationals working in professional positions (such as geologists or engineers) often earn only 10% to 20% of what expatriates in similar positions earn. Nationals working in senior professional positions (such as senior metallurgists or senior engineers) earn 50% to 60% of what expatriates in similar positions earn.
Addiitonal reasons for an expatriate to work in Africa include:
Incentives for expatriates to work in African countries (excluding South Africa) are earning tax-free, “hard” currency salaries and receiving risk benefits. Other incentives for expatriates include schooling for children, company cars, generous leave, and one or more flights back to the employee’s home country per year.
I wonder if the Chinese expatriates, of whom there are many in Africa, are included in these benefits of working in Africa far from home.
Of course that leaves the nationals somewhat bereft. But that is the way it works out. Although as the Survey notes:
When comparing the national wages of lower level workers in the mining industry with a given country’s minimum wage, it appears that mining is an attractive industry in which a national might work.
That is my introduction to this magnificent new publication. Keep in mind the Survey introduces itself thus:
Our survey is designed to provide comparative guidelines for estimating labour costs for new mining projects, helping to create compensation packages, and giving human resource managers benchmark salaries for hiring mining staff where they have no other guidelines.