I have been busy at the job of mining. Instead of writing something original, I post as follows an email I received which give numbers to prove what I have previously written: mining is good for the US economy and more mining is essential if we are to pull out of current economic slumping. In brief, to get the economy going again, we need to mine and make more. It is as simple as that. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘jobs’
Here is a short story drawn from mining experience. We all have similar tales to tell. The details may vary, but the outline is re-curringly similar.
This story was prompted by dealing with a client, a most difficult client. He has an idea in mind, but cannot seem to express his idea in words or acts. We have gone around and around on the concepts and the approach. First I propose a path forward and produce a deliverable. Then he tears his hair out and groans: “Not what I wanted.”
Are there civil engineers with mining-related experience out of work? More specifically are there geotechnical engineers with mining-related experience out of work? I ask those questions because I think of myself as a civil engineer with mining-related geotechnical experience. (more…)
Over the past three days I have compiled a large report for a client. I was helped in this regard by two other old men, both older than me. Our clients all, were young men. Nobody from that lost middle generation was involved.
A perfect example of the problems that lie ahead for the mining industry somebody is sure to remark: all the old, experienced guys gone in the next decade and nobody in the middle to take over. How will those young kids manage when they take over? (more…)
Tomorrow the annual meeting, conference, and exhibit of the United States Society of Mining Engineers (SME) kicks off in full swing in Denver. Today we set up the booth, chatted to old friends, and attended a party given to the students who participated in the student competition.
The competition was won by a team from Virginia Tech. I did not talk to the winning team. Instead I chanced on another team from the same area and they told me they lost “bad.” They could not tell me why they lost and the winning team won. “Maybe we just got sick of sitting for three hours at a time in a room staring at each other,” one of the loosing team members suggested.
I chatted with some energetic student from Montana Tech. They too did not win. “Maybe we just didn’t know there was so much data out there,” one of the team suggested.
In spite of not winning, all the graduating students I talked to has a job. “Not the best,” said one young lady. “But as a mining engineer you have to be flexible this year, so I am going to Alabama to work in a quarry.” I wished here the very best for determination.
One student I talked to, told me that her boyfriend, also a mining engineering graduate, has been flow around the country five times for five different sets of interviews, and each one fell through as the interviewing company announced layoffs a few days after interviewing her boyfriend. “He’ll just have to keep looking,” she said.
This same sense of determination in the face of slowdown pervaded the exhibit hall. To me the hall seemed much quieter than at the comparable time last year. Not once did I line-up for a drink. The exhibitors sat with glum determination in their booths, defending a dream that has fled.
Maybe tomorrow some honorable keynote speaker will put a gloss on this. I do not expect another SuperCycle speech. I am not sure what I would say as keynote speaker. It is a platitude to talk of mining downside cycles. It is silly to say SME will live up to its mission by posting educational videos on a site parallel to OneMIne. It is disgusting to say “take over Canada and Mexico and mine them dry.” It lacks credibility to promise new sustainable mining initiatives. And there are too many Republicans here to plead for a bail-out. So we do have something to eagerly await tomorrow. I will blog about it at noon MST. See you then.
Mining jobs in Arizona pay pretty well. At least they used to. The details are set out at Arizona Geology. That great blog notes from a 2007 study — true, probably out-of-date, but interesting nevertheless:
- Produced $98.4 billion of finished mineral, metal and fuel products, which were transformed into an additional $1.8 trillion in value added by other mineral, metal and coal consuming industries.
Employed 376,310 workers in the 50 states
- Payroll was $22.1 billion
- Paid $4.4 billion in taxes on production and imports, which includes severance taxes, royalties, fees, property taxes and gross receipts taxes, etc., in 2006, the latest data available
- Paid $1.2 billion in federal royalties and other mineral revenues
- Paid $1.2 billion in federal corporate income taxes in 2005, according to the latest data available from the IRS