From Site to Celebration: Navigating the Challenges of a FIFO Christmas

Experience tells any FIFO worker that spending Christmas away from loved ones is challenging. The geographical gap between the worksite and home becomes more pronounced during the holiday season, particularly when there are young children involved.

Nevertheless, the show in the mining industry must go on. Preparing for the emotional hurdles of the festive season can help alleviate the sense of distance and preserve your well-being. Whether it’s your inaugural or twentieth FIFO Christmas, strategise to make it a positive experience with the following steps.

Stay Involved

Just because you won’t be physically present doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the festivities. Plan and purchase gifts in advance. These presents will serve as a connection to your family and friends on Christmas morning, especially if accompanied by a special, thoughtful message.

Plan for a Second Celebration

Before departing, schedule a second Christmas celebration for your return – the FIFO Festivities. This alternate celebration can become a unique family tradition and gives everyone something to anticipate.

Indulge Yourself

Pack a special treat, be it food or drink, to make your trip a bit distinct. Have loved ones write you messages, promising not to open them until Christmas Day, perhaps during a ZOOM catch-up. This adds an element of anticipation for both you and them.

Maintain Positivity

Avoid negativity, both externally and internally. Keep your self-talk positive, appreciating what you have – a job and your health. If fellow workers are venting their grievances, distance yourself to maintain a positive mindset.

Embrace Technology, Moderately

Leverage technology to stay connected with your loved ones on Christmas Day. Video calls allow you to witness the joy of opening presents and sharing the moment. However, don’t let constant online updates throughout the day make you feel more isolated. After the initial connections, consider taking a break from digital communication.

Celebrate Responsibly

While it’s tempting to drown sorrows in alcohol, be mindful of celebratory drinks. Instead, focus on organising on-site festivities or activities like physical exercises or Christmas trivia. This diversion benefits not only you but your colleagues as well.

Remember You’re Not Alone

Remind yourself that you are not alone in this experience. Essential workers worldwide share similar challenges during the holiday season. Keep in mind that Christmas is just one day, and you are part of a broader community facing similar circumstances.

In essence, with thoughtful planning and a positive mindset, a FIFO Christmas can be a bearable and even meaningful experience.

The Importance of Effective Communication Skills In Your Business: Navigating the Depths of Mining and Resources

Effective communication remains a critical component for success in any business, and this holds especially true in industries like mining and resources where intricate processes, safety protocols, and collaboration are paramount. Even in solo endeavours, communicating findings and updates is crucial. Business owners in these sectors must articulate expectations clearly to ensure operational excellence. Inadequate communication can lead to errors, failures, and even legal consequences, making proficient communication a crucial preventive measure.

Here are five key reasons why effective communication is the bedrock of success in mining and resource-based businesses:

Fosters Relationship Building in the Mining Community

In the mining and resources sector, positive interactions and open communication channels are vital for building and sustaining relationships. This extends not only to internal teams but also to external stakeholders, regulatory bodies, and the communities where mining operations take place. Establishing trust is fundamental, given the environmental impact and community involvement often associated with resource extraction.

Cultivates High-Performing Mining Teams

Transparent communication within mining teams is instrumental in fostering efficiency and collaboration. In an industry where precision and safety are paramount, team members sharing ideas and concerns freely can enhance not only morale but also spark innovation in safety measures, extraction processes, and equipment optimisation.

Essential for Managing Resources and Employees

In mining, effective communication is vital for managers to ensure that all team members understand their roles and responsibilities. Clear communication channels are necessary for disseminating safety protocols and operational updates. This, in turn, leads to constructive feedback, safer practices, and healthier working relationships.

Drives Sustainable Resource Management and Organizational Growth

Clear communication in the mining and resources sector goes beyond internal dynamics. It is also essential for conveying the company’s values and commitment to sustainable resource management. Effective communication helps potential clients and investors comprehend the company’s approach, leading to growth through increased interest and support for environmentally conscious practices.

Promotes Transparency in Resource Extraction

Regular and transparent communication, both internally among team members and externally with regulatory bodies and the public, fosters an environment of trust. Transparency in reporting environmental impact, safety measures, and community engagement builds trust not only in the company but also in the industry as a whole. This transparency extends to brand credibility and the trust that employees have in higher management, crucial for maintaining a positive and responsible image in the mining and resources sector.

Effective communication is not just a soft skill in the mining and resources industry; it is a strategic imperative. From ensuring safety to fostering innovation and building trust, the ability to communicate clearly and transparently is integral to the success and sustainability of businesses in any sector.

MEC Mining appoints new East Coast Australia GM  

Experienced resources leader Caoilin Chestnutt has been appointed as General Manager of MEC Mining’s Australian East Coast operations.

Ms Chestnutt studied Earth Sciences at the world-renowned Trinity College, Dublin, and in the next 25 years gained experience across multiple commodities throughout the world.

Mr Catania, MEC Mining CEO, said Ms Chestnutt would be an asset to MEC Mining’s expanding business, which now has offices in Brisbane, Perth and a global presence in Europe, Africa and South-East Asia.

“MEC Mining is growing rapidly as demand for our technical and advisory services increase, and Caoilin’s expertise will lead our expanding East Coast Australia teams with a steady hand. We’re excited to welcome her.”

Caoilin has held leadership roles across Xstrata (now Glencore), Anglo American, BHP and Arrow Energy in both technical and commercial disciplines. She was the Resources Investment Commissioner for the Queensland Government and most recently, was head of Business Development at BHP.

She has been a finalist in the Women in Industry Awards twice and was the winner of the QRC/WIMARQ Exceptional Woman in Exploration Award.

Caoilin said “MEC Mining is a world-class consultancy with highly skilled team members who were raising the bar with the level of quality services offered to the mining industry. I am looking forward to strengthening MECs status of preferred partner to our clients,  proactively identifying the gaps to close and delivering the best possible outcomes to achieve benchmark performance for our customers”

Caoilin brings with her a wealth of experience working across multiple key commodities in strategy, due diligence, capital raising, resource exploration and development and Mergers & Acquisitions, strengthening our Advisory team.


MEC will be at IMARC 2023!

MEC Mining is honoured to be exhibiting at the 10th Annual International Mining and Resources Conference & Expo (IMARC) on 31st October – 2nd November 2023 at the Sydney Conventions & Exhibition Centre!

Our CEO Christofer Cantania, General Manager – East Coast, Caoilin Chestnutt, General Manager – West Andrew Dittmann and Principal Mining Engineer Paul King look forward to being part of Australia’s largest mining event bringing together decision makers, mining leaders, policy makers, investors, commodity buyers, technical experts, innovators and educators from over 100 countries for four days of learning, deal-making and unparalleled networking.

The 2023 conference program, features seven concurrent streams, 380+ technical talks, panel discussions and strategic keynote presentations.

Come by Stand B10 and see how we can assist your mine operation!

For more information visit IMARC Website >

LinkedIn: 7 tips to rock your personal brand

LinkedIn? Why would I want to be on LinkedIn? I don’t own a multi-billion-dollar company – so why would anyone want to connect with me?

Well, long gone are the days where a logo would tell clients everything they needed to know about your company and the most colourful advertisement would catch attention. People aren’t buying into that anymore. People are buying into people. The fact is, if you are in business, your online presence portrays yourself and your business to the world. It is estimated that there are 10-15 million engineers worldwide – your personal brand needs to be strong enough to stand out in this cluttered environment.

As engineers, it’s time to get into self-branding and the best platform to start that journey in the business world is LinkedIn.

Branding on LinkedIn simply means knowing how to highlight what you have to offer. With millions of accounts on LinkedIn, without fine-tuning your “brand”, you might get lost in the crowd. Stand out from the pack by rocking your personal brand with these seven tips.

Design Your Narrative

When someone first comes in contact with your profile, they will make an instant decision to keep reading – or pass on to the next profile – who is probably your competitor. Because of this, you need to focus on optimizing your profile to make it stand out.

To do this, choose the past jobs to put on your profile and which parts of these jobs to highlight – ensuring that these directly match the brand you are wanting to build.

Add Keywords

Think about what someone might type into Google if they were searching for someone like you. What are your job titles or qualifications? Consider where you’re located, your business name, etc.

Add your Elevator Pitch

If someone messages you or you want to talk to them about your brand, have a good 30 second elevator speech ready. If it is in online message form, you can use a one paragraph pitch instead. Keep it short, simple and straight to the point. Your pitch is only as good as the weakest link.

Focus on your connections

LinkedIn is a professional networking account, so simply going out and connecting with your friends really isn’t necessary. Sure, it can boost some exposure, which is fine, but you need to focus on the quality of your connections. Don’t just connect to connect. Seek out people in your field, look for those you admire or who represents their company in a way you like.

Use the Publisher Tool and Share Other Content

Consider writing content on the subject matter you’re interested in. Create a weekly or bi-weekly blog based on your personal brand. This will help boost your exposure and bring additional connections. And if you read something that represents your brand well, even if you didn’t create it yourself, share it and like it. Others will see this. This can bring about new connections simply for leveraging the other content.

Customise your URL

When you create a LinkedIn account you’ll end up with some garbled mess of a URL. So make sure you customise your URL. It helps it stand out on a page.

Industry Photo

Use a profile photo that represents not only your professional side but connects with the industry. Try to keep your branding images consistent across all of your online pages.

MEC Mining’s CEO Christofer Catania joins Panel on Critical Minerals at WA Mining Conference

The WA Mining Conference is just around the corner, and we’re thrilled to announce that MEC Mining’s CEO, Christofer Catania, will be a panellist on the panel: “Critical Minerals: Powering the Energy Transition.”

This panel discussion promises to be a thought-provoking and informative event for anyone with an interest in Australia’s role in the global energy transition.

Join Chris, fellow panellist Dr. Francis Wedin, Executive Chairman, Vulcan Energy Resources and moderator, David Parker, Executive Director, Western Australia, Minerals Council of Australia as they tackle critical issues, including:

  • Diversifying Supply Chain and Expanding Downstream Processing
  • Future-proofing and Optimizing the Critical Minerals Value Chain
  • Navigating Challenges with ESG, Financial Investment, and Business Growth
  • Harnessing New Economic Opportunities from Critical Minerals

Don’t miss this opportunity to gain insights from industry leaders and contribute to shaping a sustainable and prosperous future for our nation.

Date: Wednesday 11th October 2023

Time: 14:30 – 15:30

Venue: WA Mining Conference – Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) 

CV Strategies for Mining Professionals: Secure Your Next Career Move

Whether you’re just embarking on your journey in the mining industry or have spent years shaping your career, this concise guide is your compass for crafting a Curriculum Vitae (CV) – commonly known as your resumé – that stands out from the crowd.

Your CV serves as the key to unlocking coveted interviews, making it imperative that your resume shines with compelling content, showcasing your strengths and unwavering dedication to securing the job you desire.

Recruiters and employers look for:

Detailed experience

No need to be vague – clearly list the responsibilities you have had in previous employment. Some action words relating to the mining industry include: prepare; ensure; plan; review; operate; conduct; analyse; develop; schedule; launch; execute; coordinate; inspect; monitor; maintain.

For inspiration, LiveCareer has some CV examples for various mining industries.

Your qualifications

Include a list of licences you hold (and classes), qualifications and machinery operating tickets relevant to the role, including the date you obtained them and the expiry date (where applicable). Having the right qualifications, tickets or mandatory licences can fast-track your chance of employment. For drivers for example, an HR-X, dump or heavy truck licence is required for entry-level mobile equipment operator positions. There are other compliance certifications that can get you ready for work in the mining industry including courses about elevated work platforms, entering and working in confined spaces, an introduction to mining, or working at heights.  

Physical labour experience

If the role you are applying for is a physical one, list previous experience that shows you are capable of hard labour. This can include farming, construction, or volunteer firefighting for example. Likewise, as your job may require physically long hours and rosters away from home, employers will be looking for evidence of good physical health, so list any examples which show your physical interests or interests that help your mental wellbeing. If you’ve taken a fitness test, share your results on your resume. Unlike other 9-5 jobs, health and fitness is often important in mining.


When you list your work history, ensure you list the dates you started and finished those roles. If you have had any time out from work, have an explanation ready as employers who are looking for stability and reliability will want to know the reason.


Choose your referees, which are previous supervisors or managers, wisely. They are of vital importance when recommending you for a job, so tell them why the role appeals to you and that way they will know what skills to highlight during a reference check.

For more tips on choosing the right referee, visit Mining People International’s article.

Your commitment 

If you are new to working in mines, be willing to show how committed you are to wanting to work in the industry. Outline any courses you have done to prepare, or skills you have gained that are transferable to the job you are applying for. This includes instances where you have worked in a team, or jobs that require strong communication or problem-solving skills. While you should list this in your resume it is also a strong selling point for your cover letter.

Your social media presence

Recruiters and future employers now look online and at social media accounts to see what appears publicly about a person. It is a first impression, so ensure you are happy with the way you appear online or on social media.  You want your CV to do that talking, not anything that may paint you in a negative light on social media.

The mining industry is always in need of good talent and the financial rewards are often satisfying too. Hopefully this list gives you some insight into what employers and recruiters look for.

Sources & further reading:

Mining People International



Think personal branding doesn’t have a place in the world of mining? Think again.

Contrary to the misconception that personal branding is reserved for those in more conventional career paths, it holds immense value for professionals in the mining industry. Here’s why.


In essence, crafting a personal brand centers around self-awareness. It entails introspectively examining your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. This process establishes an authentic foundation from which to advance your career and construct the life you aspire to lead.

Remember, the personal brand development process need not be public; you can refine it over time as your priorities shift.

Uncertain about where to begin? Here are some straightforward directives.

Compose Your Mission Statement

  • What are my values?
  • What ignites my passions?
  • What serves as my driving motivation?

Define Your Objectives

  • What aspirations do I hold for my life?
  • How do I envision success now and in the future?

Evaluate Your Aptitudes Against Your Objectives

  • What is my training and experience?
  • What are my strengths and vulnerabilities?
  • What attributes render me distinctive?
  • Who contributes to my happiness?

Clear comprehension of your abilities, potentials, and anticipations empowers you to prioritise qualities and relationships that propel you toward your objectives, while also identifying any hindrances.


Once your personal brand is internally defined, conveying it to others becomes more seamless. This process nurtures your confidence and emboldens you to seize inspiring opportunities.

In a role you already relish, consistent communication and behaviour steer you toward desired career growth. During transitions or job searches, the ability to articulate your ambitions and epitomise your brand positions you as an appealing candidate.



Your personal brand enhances credibility among colleagues and superiors. Their confidence in you positions you well for promotions and high-profile projects.

It also commands esteem in your wider professional network. Clarity about your contributions and interests empowers you to stay attuned to pertinent industry trends and locate your “tribe”: kindred spirits who involve you in conferences, webinars, events, whitepapers, and more.


Crafting and projecting your personal brand furnishes you with greater control over your professional image. It further provides flexibility to refine and expand your brand as your career progresses.

Bear in mind, that your career journey spans a considerable stretch – one we hope brims with fulfillment. Therefore, positioning yourself to attain truly meaningful outcomes is an astute move.

The 6 Best Things About Being A Mining Consultant

 Exploring a potential career path as a mining consultant? Discover the six aspects of this profession that mining consultants truly cherish.

  1. It’s never Groundhog Day

As a mining consultant, your schedule will vary depending on the nature and location of projects you’re working on. One thing that’s for certain is that you won’t be sitting behind a desk from 9 to 5. Mining consultants enjoy a varied schedule that’s never boring.

  1. You’re not alone

As a consultant, you’ll be collaborating with many people during the course of your work, giving you the opportunity to meet great contacts, develop friendships, learn and further your career while you work.

  1. You’ll use your thinking cap

Problem solving will be a pivotal part of your work as a mining consultant. You’ll need to think on your feet, tackle obstacles and keep clients happy. Overcoming challenges involves creative thinking and tenacity – and it’s one of the most exciting and satisfying aspects of the job.

  1. So many skills

Consultants are valuable to companies because they’re experts in their field. Your job will involve you keeping up to date with industry trends and knowledge. This means you’ll stay relevant to clients, and your skills in your job will never plateau.

  1. Diverse Clients and Varied Experiences

Just as your schedule and work will be varied, so too will your client base. Mining consultants come into contact with a range of clients with different needs and expectations. You’ll gain excellent experience in dealing with all sorts of people to solve problems and drive results.

  1. Networking Galore

The upside of working across so many clients and team members is that your networking game will be strong. If you seize opportunities to stay in contact with past clients and build relationships with current and potential clients through events, informal catch-ups and online networking, your career as a mining consultant will go from strength to strength.

Keen to become a mining consultant? Visit our careers page at

 MEC Mining meet future Mining Engineers at UQ

We had the pleasure of meeting many enthusiastic students at UQ’s Engineering Careers Fair last Friday.

MEC’s Head of Talent Management Cheryl Holton attended the event along with Graduate Mining Engineers Hung To and Fabian Graes as well as Undergraduate Mining Engineers Yuri Gervasiev, Bryant Li and Ajay Datt.

It’s always fantastic to meet up-and-coming engineers, said Cheryl, and I am so proud to be part of the young professionals who joined me on the day. They did an amazing job representing MEC’s values, vision, and expertise.”

It was a valuable exchange for us as mining professionals and for them as aspiring professionals. Not only were we able to hear about their thoughts and career ambitions, but we were also able to answer their questions about the industry and show them the sorts of opportunities available to them if they work for a company like ours.