Have you ever doubted your leadership skills, or thought maybe perhaps because you haven’t studied business management you wouldn’t be very good at it? The truth is, we all have the ability to become a leader as incredible as Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore. Leadership is an important function of management which helps to maximise efficiency and to achieve organisational goals. Leadership is the potential to influence behaviour of others. It is also defined as the capacity to influence a group towards the realisation of a goal. Leaders are required to develop future visions, and to motivate the organisational members to want to achieve the visions. According to Keith Davis, “Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals.”
You have read every prospectus for every engineering course in the country and in theory the job looks ok. You have looked into the various roles throughout the entire mining process from exploration and feasibility studies through to build, production and even mine closure and land rehabilitation. But what is life actually like as a mining engineer? What should you realistically expect?
You will need an adventurous spirit, a curious mind and a hunger to travel to unique places. Remote locations are the norm (at least at the start of your career) which will mean living on site in mine camps or residentially in close knit mining communities. You could be working in the freezing cold at altitude on a mountain range or under the hot desert sun or in the steamy tropics. Mines are a 24/7 business which means working shifts, often on a 2:1 roster (weeks on/off).
So, if you prefer working indoors, regular hours and FIFO (fly in fly out) or living regionally isn’t your cup of tea, then mining engineering probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, if have a genuine passion for natural resources, thrive on challenges, relish problem solving and seek to work in a field that is at the forefront of innovation then it could be just what you’re looking for.
Mining engineer graduate numbers are falling, and the Australian mining industry is facing a critical skills shortage in the coming years. In an interview with the ABC earlier this year, Gavin Lind from the Minerals Council Australia said that graduate numbers have been in sharp decline since 2012. For example, just six students are enrolled to study mining engineering at the University of New South Wales this year down from 120 enrolments four years ago. This may be attributed to the boom to bust, cyclical nature of the coal and iron ore sectors making for gloomy headlines. However, this can be very misleading. Any business is vulnerable to market forces but as we move into a low carbon world and transition to electric vehicles, a wide range of minerals will become an increasingly integral part of modern living and promises a robust future for aspiring engineers.
Mining engineers are held in high regard for their leading-edge technical knowledge, scientific expertise and problem-solving capabilities as well as their resilience and character that enables them to succeed in the most challenging of environments. Commitment to the environment and local communities and managing social issues also play a significant part in an engineer’s role. Most engineers start their career in the field but there are also opportunities to enter corporate office, government, consulting, finance and research fields.
Many of us have entered 2020 with a great deal of trepidation. It seems the only thing we can rely on this year is taxes and death (too soon?). The world is becoming increasingly volatile and uncertainty reigns supreme, as such it is probably time we started to accept this as the new normal. If it isn’t the Coronavirus it will be a long drought, a flood, a supply chain disruption or a tech disruption that will cause us to have to suddenly change tack. But how do you plan for disruption when you have no idea what will cause it in the future.
Think personal branding isn’t for you? Think again.
Far from an exercise in vanity or the preserve of ambitious entrepreneurs, personal branding is valuable to anyone pursuing any kind of career. Here’s why.
What seemed like a radical change to our way of working only a few months ago has very quickly become familiar. Social distancing means more people working from home, fewer opportunities for ad hoc team engagement and more chances to feel disengaged from workmates.
It’s important to recognise the impact of this change, not only on your team but yourself as their leader – to ensure everyone is supported to work safely and efficiently.
Mining engineer Christofer Catania has been appointed General Manager (GM) of Australia’s global engineering consultancy firm MEC Mining – almost 15 years after being one of MEC’s first university vacation students.
How would you describe your organisation’s safety culture? And how important is it to the safety and profitability of your mining operations?
We all know that mining businesses have to be vigilant and work hard to comply with legislative safety standards. Regulations are extensive because of the high level of risk and complexity associated with mining operations. Mining companies are responsible for the safety of the people working on their sites. At MEC Mining, ensuring that all workers return home safely is at the core of what we do.
Ever come up with a good idea, told a few people about it but the excitement waned, nothing happened? This has been me on many occasions. The key to getting your plans actioned is articulating value, expressed in dollars.Continue reading “The key to getting what you want”
Current commodity prices and ever-increasing competition between mining operations dictate cost effective, achievable and well-presented mining sequence.
It takes communication to work in a team, and even people working alone have to report to their bosses. If you run a business, you have to tell employees what’s expected of them. Bad communication leads to errors, failure and sometimes lawsuits. Effective communication helps prevent these errors. Here are five reasons why effective communication is important in every business.