Posts Tagged ‘CostMine’


A comment on yesterday’s posting comparing wages on small versus large U.S. Metal and Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages, and Benefits from the CostMine 2014 survey reads thus:

More to the point, how have the US and Canadian underground wages increased/decreased over the past decade. Plus the US figures are likely dominated by non-union wages in the Appalachian coal industry.

The data in the Survey is only for metal and industrial mineral mines.  CostMine puts out an annual Survey of U.S. coal mine wages and salaries.  When the 2014 Survey comes I will look more into the comparative wages of those in metal mines as compared to coal mines.

The only relevant statement about union versus non-union wages I can find in the Survey is this:

Included in this year’s survey were 36 non-union and 20 union metal mines. Thirty-nine surveyed metal mines increased wages during the 12 months preceding the survey, with increases ranging from 1.7% to 8.5%. Sixteen metal mines showed no change in wages and one mine decreased wages by 10%. Twenty-eight non-union and 20 union metal mines offered their employees the opportunity to increase wages through incentive bonus plans.

The 2014 Survey contains no tables directly comparing union versus non-union wages.  The Survey does note the total average cost of benefits as a percentage of wages for union versus non-union mines.  On U.S. metal mines the percentage for union wages is 52% whereas for non-union mines the percentage is 37.7%.  A big difference.  Interestingly the percentages are much the same for industrial mineral mines, namely 39.0% for union wages and 37.9% for non-union wages.

Here are few wages comparing surface metal mines to surface industrial mineral mines (the first number is for metal mines, the second for industrial mineral mines in U.S. dollars per hour):

  • Electrician = 30.81/28.28
  • Mechanic = 29.34/26.48
  • Driller = 27.97/23.66
  • Laborer = 21.68/18.55

As I would expect: you get a higher wage on a surface metal mine than on a surface industrial minerals mine.  Contrary to expectation the situation reverses for underground mines.  Some numbers:

  • Electrician = 14.56/33.18
  • Mechanic = 27.97/28.15
  • Underground Laborer = 22.91/22.22

To tease out the implications of all this, it would be necessary to go into the information for each mine as is included in the Survey.  I leave that to you.


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I have just received the CostMine 2014 Survey Results for U.S. Metal and Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages, and Benefits. In this and future blog postings I will provide some data from the survey and comment on trends that intrigue me. Here first a look at the impact on wages of working for a small mine as compared to working for a large mine. The Survey notes on this topic:

Some distinct differences in employment practices are apparent between small and large mines. To demonstrate the differences, we divided the mines between those with fewer than 100 employees (51 mines) and those with 100 employees or more (67 mines).  For the most part, miners at small mines make less than their counterparts at large mines. Medical benefits were offered at 48 of the small mines and 66 of the large mines. Many of the mines helped offset the high cost of medical and dental coverage by requiring an employee premium to participate. While most of the mines in the survey offer their employees a medical plan, employees at large mines are generally more likely to benefit from incentive bonus plans and retirement plans, plus more vacation and holiday time-off.

Numerically here are some wages for small surface mines versus large mines (the first is the average hourly rate in dollars for small surface mines; the second is the average for large surface mines).

  • Electrician = 26.98/29.28
  • Mechanic = 25.61/27.50
  • Driller = 19.31/26.18
  • Laborer = 17.67/19.62

A significant difference in the case of drillers.  So to the ranges which for small surface mines goes from 14.31 to 24.75, compared to large surface mines which goes from 21.32 to 33.80.  In short the average Driller at a small surface mines gets less than the lowest paid Driller at a large surface mine.

For underground mines, the average for smaller mines is often higher than the average for larger mines.  Examples:

  • Mechanic = 29.68/28.02
  • Miner = 29.78/28.12

Not so for Underground Laborers at underground mines where the range and average for small mines is from 15.00 to 17.55 with an average of 17.55 as compared to the Underground Laborer at a large underground mine where the range is from 15.84 to 34.22 for an average of 22.54.   A large difference.  I have no explanation, but there must be one, so let us here from you if you know why.



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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): (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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I  received the CostMine U.S. Metal & Industrial Minerals Mine Salaries, Wages & Benefits, 2013 Survey Results a month or two back.  Now is time to get down to blog about some of the salaries.  All figures are in thousands of US dollars per year.  First some averages for all mines in the USA: (more…)

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I have just received an advanced copy of CostMine’s U.S. Metal & Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages & Benefits — 2013 Survey Results.  You will be able to purchase the complete copy very soon from CostMine. In this and a few following postings, I will note salaries, wages, and compensation for U.S. mining people in 2012 and 2013.  Let us start with wages.  Here are the national average hourly wages, in US Dollars for 118 U.S. mines for some job categories: (more…)

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A week ago I received this email from a student: (more…)

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