Archive for the ‘Jobs and Salaries’ Category


Just published by CostMine is the 2014 Survey Results – Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits.  I will survey some of the data in this and future postings.  First a look at average Canadian Mine wages (In Canadian dollars):

Surface mines

  • Electrician  = 37.84
  • Mechanic = 37.08
  • Surface drill operator = 38.06
  • Heavy equipment operator = 34.74
  • Laborer = 27.95

Underground Mines

  • Electrician = 38.83
  • Mechanic = 37.3
  • Miner = 33.89
  • Underground drill operator = 34.26
  • Underground laborer = 27.18

The range of wages is large.  Consider the range for Mill Operators:

  • Mill equipment operator = 24.57 to 58.46 with an average of 35.60
  • Mill laborer = 19.65 to 42.25 with an average of 29.45

And wages vary across the country. Here are averages for eastern versus western surface mine folk”

  • Electrician = 32.80 vs 40.74
  • Mechanic = 32.42 vs 39.81
  • Dragline operator = 33.27 vs 39.14
  • Laborer = 24.74 vs 29.55

Wages have gone up in the past 12 months.  For example, of the 22 eastern mines reporting wages went up 2.9% and of the 27 western mines reporting, wages went up 3.1%.

Good new really.

The report is chock-full of data.  The above is a snapshot.  I will write about this report and salaries etc. in future blog postings.  Meanwhile go to CostMine to purchase a copy for all the data.

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The final day of the conference Paste 2014 in Vancouver today.  The keynote was about filter pressed tailings management at Pogo in Alaska.  Too complex to blog about, but worth reading the paper and looking at the PowerPoint presentation when they available on InfoMine. (more…)

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I have dealt with regulators from Washington DC (the NRC) through many states including California.  In Canada I have interacted with regulators from British Columbia and chatted with Alberta oil sand regulators.  They have all been decent people with a commitment to their cause.  In most cases we have been able to craft solutions that fit within the regulations and benefitted my clients, the mining companies.  In most cases the regulators have participated in open discussions and made suggestions for way to keep things moving. (more…)

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I have not posted on this blog the past few days.  The reason:  I was at a fly-in, fly-out camp where the internet connection is sporadic & they do not make it easy to access spurious blogs.   Plus the weather was terrible:  ice-rain in which planes could not fly. (more…)

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The news report today that caught my attention is this. Politicians say such strange things!

Argentina’s mining minister, Jorge Mayoral, surprised quite a few of the 300 executives present an annual luncheon last week, by calling its neighbouring Chile and Peru mining models “a failure.”

According to Mining Press (in Spanish), the official was especially critical of the other two countries openness to foreign investors. Mayoral said Argentina did not want mining in a Chilean or Peruvian way:

“We want mining our way, which means we want to favour domestic suppliers, local management, make sure jobs are taken by technical and professionals coming out of our universities, that respect for the environment is a priority, and most importantly, that all this is done in a safe matter,” he was quoted as saying.

Ironically, the minister also called on his Chilean peer, Aurora Williams, to expedite a decision on Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama project, which has been halted since last year, after a number of defeats in local courts about water use and the impact on glaciers in the area. While later Barrick stopped construction of the $8.5 billion project as part of its debt-reduction and cost-cutting program, it is still facing major fines and a class action lawsuit because of it.

A report released by the government in March shows Argentina’s mining sector is expected to attract about $4 billion this year, with US and Indian companies reportedly interested in developing the nation’s copper and lithium.


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Four short stories and one succinct opinion.  No pictures.  You decide.

Story 1 – Gambling

A father took his young daughter with him to gamble.  The men sat gambling until late in the night and into the early morning.  The daughter busied herself as only teenagers can when their parents are at play.  The father’s luck was fierce.  He won a great deal and the losers were sore.  Finally the father left with his daughter, but the losers were not happy.  They wanted their money back.  They waylaid the father and daughter and an altercation broke out.  Guns were pulled.  The daughter was shot and killed.  The father, bereft, is in hospital fighting for his life. (more…)

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Just received from CostMine their new publications 2014 Survey Results International Compensation Guidelines for Mining Exploration. Amazing numbers. I could not is a simple blog tell all. There is only one solution if you are a mining exploration person or employ such persons and wish to determine if compensation is fair and adequate: but a copy of the full report. (more…)

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There is still time to join us for the upcoming EduMine webcast Advanced Tailings and Mine Waste Facility Design, Operation, and Closure.  Here is the link to the course. Even if you have taken other courses before conferences, or the other EduMine webcast on Introduction to Tailings, or our previous Advanced Tailings courses, I know you will find interesting and exciting information, perspectives, practices, and case histories in this new course. (more…)

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I have no data to support the opinions I write of in this posting.  So please do your own research before deciding, panicking, or acting on anything said below. Today I was outside smoking in the damp rain when my smoking companion said that he had just surveyed the salaries of mining geoscientists (geologists and geotechnical engineers).  He noted that it appears that salaries for such folk are, on average, higher in Canada than in the USA. (more…)

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This posting is prompted by things I have seen, heard, and thought on trips to remote mines in the Canadian Northwest Territories, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile.  Nothing I write is specific to only one mine or generally applicable to all mines.  Each has it own characteristics and issues.  But they are remarkable similar, so let me lump them in one posting. (more…)

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