Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category


The premise is that you can find the job you seek at the new-format, newly-updated CareerMine.  See this link: http://www.infomine.com/careers/

The top two jobs at Suncor: one a welder and the other a mechanical maintenance supervisor.  Not my dream jobs!

Sorry.  I noticed you have to filter by a thousand criteria.  So I chose Engineering for which there are a promised 5,141 jobs.   I put in Canada, eschewing Mpamlanga, Belo Horizonte, and Witbank.  Who wants to go work there?  Saw a report today that the murder-death rate in Brazil is worse than Iraq!  And have you seen Witbank?  I grew up near there and would die rather than go there.  But why Witbank?  It is a most inconspicuous place.

Can’t say my search yielded much.  In the engineering category we have these distinctly non-engineering jobs: proposal writer; quality manager; safety coordinator; master scheduler; and sale rep, fire safety division.  Shows you cannot trust those kids entering jobs–they know nothing, sadly, but they can enter crap, fast.  Or is it the search engine?  That cannot distinguish engineering from everything else?   Best to get a qualified headhunter onto the job. Had a call from one last week. Poor fellow was polite but shaken when I told him I  am 68 and not in the market–what a waste of his call.  Still he asked me to tell him if I knew a master shaft sinker.

[Added after first posting.]  One of the advantages of a blog is that you can add to it at any time.  After posting the first version of this post, the folk at CareerMine showed me how to navigate the site.  Quite a powerful site if you know how to navigate it.  But it requires expertise or experiment or extreme patience.  Persist if you truly want a job.  I play around a bit and found the  job at this link–Suncor is looking for a Tailings Reduction Operations (TRO) engineer.  That would be fun if I were younger.  For what it is worth I have worked on the project as a consultant for a number of years and there is still a lot to learn and to do.  Good luck to the job applicant who gets it.

If you want to go to the Northern Territories of Australia, there is a subcontracts administrator needed.  And a yard operator manager, and a driver–of what is not specified.  On jobs in Australia, today I read this–came via an email–but I am sure you can find the original on the web:

Australia’s mining industry professionals (including geoscientists and mining engineers) have experienced a cut of almost 20 per cent in their salaries in the past two years. They also face greater pressure at work as a result of the downturn in the minerals sector. Research released today by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) revealed:

  • Average salaries for minerals professionals are down 19 per cent on 2012 levels.
  • Minerals professionals working at the most senior levels are earning less in 2014 than they did in 2008 – even without adjusting for inflation.
  • Minerals professionals who are employed are working an average 4 hours a week longer than a year ago, while unemployment amongst minerals professionals has continued to increase.

‘Minerals professionals have experienced a roller-coaster with strong job opportunities and salaries growth during the minerals boom, and a sudden and significant downward adjustment in the last two years.  This was evident in AusIMM’s recent employment report which showed that unemployment amongst Australian minerals professionals has climbed sharply to more than 12 per cent.’

So sad.  I have visited Australia but once and that was to see friends.  My friends there, all from South Africa, complained that salaries for consultants to the mining industry were insane and out of line with productivity.

About two years ago I chatted to an engineer I respect.  He does peer review consulting in Australia.  He said then that he was amazed at how little the average Australian consultant worked: “Get to the office at nine, and nobody is there.  Leave after four and nobody is there.  They know nothing of evening or weekend work.  And during the day they are mostly coffee drinkers.  They are the least productive engineers anywhere in the world.”

Strong words.  I know not if this is true, but he is generally kind and nice.

I have had a bit to do with an Australian project recently.  Ouch!  That is all I can say.  Maybe one day I will tell the rest for they do rest often!

So, if you seek that perfect job, go to Australia–they still do less and earn more than anybody else.  And maybe the new CareerMine that I cannot navigate will yield to your kind attention.  Here is a challenge: go to the new CareerMine and see if you can navigate it and find the perfect job for you.  I would be delighted to hear you did, but I may not believe you.

OK that is why the headhunter did not want me at 68–a computer dunce who thinkest not like the young.


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Cheap design linked to problems at Tokwe-Mukosi

From Zimbabwe, we have news six days ago of a water dam failing.  At least my conlcusion is that it is failing.  I base this conclusion on a series of photos at this link. (more…)

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The University of the Witwatersrand was  started as a mining school a hundred and more years ago.  Its greatest graduate was Nelson Mandela.  There have been many other graduates, including me.  None of us has changed & improved the human lot as much as Mandela did, but we have all tried to improve things to the best of our ability and education from Wits. (more…)

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Today I lunched with a professor from one of those old-line, prestigious universities.  He bemoaned the fact that his department has changed. (more…)

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For months I let Paul Collier’s The Plundered Planet sit on my desk.  A reader of this blog had recommended the book to me.  A colleague took it off my desk and returned the book praising it.  I was almost nervous to read it least I could not share their enthusiasm. (more…)

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Lazily browsing the web, I came across this report from Zimbabwe about a mine running out of water. There is so much one could say, that I refrain from comment and just post the story as I found it.  You will no doubt draw your own conclusions.  (more…)

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Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) The Dance 1910[1]

Here from the new CostMine 2012 Survey of African Mine Salaries are some figures for those working on mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — the first set of numbers are the range of salaries, the second is the average, and the third is the number of years of experience of those reporting salaries.  (more…)

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