New CEO appointed as MEC Mining gears up for growth

Just over a year after stepping into the role of General Manager for Australia’s global engineering consultancy firm MEC Mining, Christofer Catania has been appointed its Chief Executive Officer.

The appointment comes as MEC makes strategic shifts to facilitate a new chapter of growth for the company.

“This is an exciting time for our industry,” MEC Director Simon Cohn explained. “The CEO role is new to our organisational structure and is something that we saw necessary to drive the aspirational goals of our business, while providing support for our existing team.”

MEC Mining’s global reach extends across Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, and the consultancy’s projects span a variety of minerals sectors. In 2019/20, it experienced 25 percent growth from the year before, largely associated with the establishment of its office in Western Australia (with its market in underground metals, particularly gold) and with MEC’s growing international presence. The company is also thriving on Australia’s east coast, and its new geotechnical engineering arm has been a success.

“Chris Catania has high-level technical and operational expertise, combined with his experience in project management and leadership. This made him an exceptional General Manager as MEC focused on international growth, our burgeoning business in Western Australia, and MEC’s standalone advisory arm,” Mr Cohn noted. “He has a substantial history as a valued member of our team, and we look forward to working with him in the role of CEO.”

Mr Catania’s long association with MEC began around 15 years ago, when he was one of its first recruits. Since then, he has worked with MEC for nearly a decade in total. In recent years, he has progressed from Manager of Consulting Services to General Manager Operations, before being appointed General Manager in 2020.

“I am thrilled to be stepping into the role of CEO in a company that I thoroughly enjoy working in,” said Mr Catania. “MEC has continually demonstrated its ability to respond to the market with agility and integrity, and I’m honoured to play a role in steering it towards an even brighter future.”

Motivate yourself to take the next step in your mining career

Too often people stay in a job waiting for their employers to hand them an opportunity or offer them training or promotions. Does that approach really work anywhere in life though?

If you want a house, chances are you do not sit about waiting for a truckload of cash, you start saving and planning to reach your goal.  The same goes with your salary. If you are unhappy with how much you earn, your employer is not a mind reader – you will need to let them know.

Like all things in life, if you are feeling frustrated it is time to take responsibility for your situation and do something to change it. See this as a positive thing, rather than as a negative.

If you feel like you are continually frustrated in your mining career or lacking the recognition or training you crave, here are some ideas about how to set and achieve some professional and personal goals.

Accept responsibility

You are responsible for your own career and acknowledging that is the first step to pursuing the career path you want. Accept responsibility for your choices, actions and behaviours and see that as a positive step in taking control of your career.

Set goals

What are your career aspirations? Are you doing now what you truly want to do? To help with this, ask yourself where you want to be in five years’ time, and in 10 years’ time. Is there anything you will regret doing when you are older?  It helps to follow the SMART principle (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) when making goals to ensure they motivate you. Writing goals down can also make them feel tangible.

This exercise works for not only career aspirations but other areas of life too.

Make changes

If your current role is not satisfying you, what can you do to get where you want to be?

Your list of goals might require you to update your skills or learn some new skills so you might need to enrol in a course or explore training options. If you are wanting to explore training or promotional opportunities with your employer, you will need to schedule time to talk with your manager.  

Write down the steps you will need to take to achieve your goals and take some positive actions rather than sitting back and waiting for opportunities to land in your lap. Creating your own opportunities will help you achieve your career aspirations.

CV tips to land your next mining job

Whether you are starting out in the mining industry, or you have been building a career for years this guide will help you decide what to include or work towards to make your Curriculum Vitae (CV) – also known as your resumé – a stand-out. A CV is the tool that will help you land an interview, so it is essential your resume is well-written and highlights your strengths and commitment to wanting the job.

Recruiters and employers look for:

  • Detailed experience. No need to be vague – clearly list 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.
  • Reliability. 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.
  • References. 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.
  • 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:

MEC hosts networking sundowners

Earlier last month we hosted around 60 guests at MEC Mining’s social networking evening. The event, held at Motorwagen restaurant in Brisbane’s CBD, provided an opportunity for mining industry professionals to meet and network with peers.

“Our social networking sundowners event was an opportunity for people to relax at the end of the week in the company of other mining professionals,” said Grant Malcolm, MEC’s Manager of Consulting – East Coast.

“At MEC, we place value on relationships – collaborating and sharing ideas is how we do business,” Malcolm explained. “Networking events play a role in this and provide a platform for us to strengthen and improve the industry as a whole.”

Interested in attending an MEC event in the future? Keep an eye on our LinkedIn page for more details or visit our website.

Young Mining Professionals Brisbane shine at inaugural Gala Dinner

MEC Mining representatives attended the Gala Dinner held by Young Mining Professionals Brisbane at W Hotel on 23 July 2021. MEC was also a sponsor of the inaugural event, themed “Forging the future of mining”, which attracted over 160 guests in a celebration of promising progress in the mining industry.

Young Mining Professionals (YMP) is a growing international association of mining professionals based in major mining centres across the world. It helps participants in obtaining the skills, support and knowledge to successfully advance their careers, develop a network of contacts within the industry, and identify mining-related investment and career opportunities.

Comedian Steph Tisdell entertained as MC, and attendees heard from keynote speaker Jo-Anne Dudley, Chief Operating Officer of Turquoise Hill Resources – a US and Canadian listed company focused on the development of the Oyu Tolgoi Mine in Mongolia. A Fellow of The AusIMM who, in 2018, was named Queensland’s Exceptional Woman in Resources and one of the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining, Dudley shared her inspiring professional journey.

MEC’s Manager of Consulting – East Coast, Grant Malcolm, along with Principal Mining Engineer Joanna Krzyzanowska, and Marketing and Communications Manager Emelia Chalker joined YMP members on the night.

“It was a great evening in the company of smart, driven young people who are passionate about our industry,” said Grant Malcolm.

“They are committed to supporting one another, advocating for change for the better, and steering mining into a bright future,” said Malcolm. “We are proud to have sponsored the event and look forward to a continued relationship with YMP Brisbane.”

If you’re a young mining industry professional or from an organisation interested in supporting YMP Brisbane, you can find out more on the YMP website.