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Driller's Assistant
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Mining Support Worker
Shotfirer or Blaster

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Overview - Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers

Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers assemble, position and operate drilling rigs and mining plant, and detonate explosives to extract materials from the earth and demolish structures.

ANZSCO ID: 7122

Duties and tasks

  • dismantling, moving and reassembling drilling rigs and accessory plant
  • taking samples of ore, liquids and gases and packaging them
  • performing minor maintenance and repairs, and lubricating and cleaning plant
  • recording performance details and information obtained from wells, and keeping logs detailing operations
  • operating surface and underground mining plant
  • undertaking development work such as opening up new shafts, drives, air vents, rises and crib rooms
  • positioning explosives in bore holes and priming explosives using detonators and explosive cartridges
  • connecting wires, fuses and detonating cords to explosive cartridges and detonators, and detonating explosives
  • monitoring operation of plant and ensuring safety of other workers on mining sites and during drilling operations
  • operating auxiliary plant such as pumps to expel air, water and mud

Education & training requirements

You can work as a Driller, Miner or Shot Firer without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. A Vocational Education and Training (VET) course in a relevant mining field might be helpful.

 

 

Details of Jobs

Miner
Environments

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

 Miners operate equipment to excavate, load and transport coal, ore, mineral sand and rock, either underground or in open-cut mines. Future Growth Static

Miners operate heavy machinery and equipment to excavate, extract and transport ore, coal, rock and other minerals from mines in regional and sometimes remotes areas. They drill and blast into rock to create tunnels deep underground or, in the case of open-cut mines, remove top soil and cut into the earth with bulldozers, drills and explosives. They ensure the mine site is safe by installing reinforcing, lighting, cabling, pumps and, where appropriate, air vents.

ANZSCO ID: 712212

Specialisations include: Bogger Operator, Coal Cutter, Dragline Operator, Opal Miner, Underground Truck Operator

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  •  enjoy practical and manual activities

  • aptitude for mechanical equipment operation

  • able to tolerate physically demanding work, including shiftwork

  • willing to work in accordance with occupational health and safety rules

  • meet age restrictions, if applicable.

 

Duties and Tasks

Miners may perform the following tasks:Miner

  •  cut drives into the ore body using specialist equipment

  • extract coal or ore by drilling, blasting or excavating

  • load ore into mine cars, trucks or conveyors for transport to the stockpile or mine surface

  •  undertake development work such as opening up new shafts, drives, air vents, rises and crib rooms

  • support the walls and roofs in underground mines with rock bolts and erect wooden or steel props, pillars and arches

  • install lighting, pumps, cabling and other equipment to service the mine

  • monitor the operation of plants and ensure the safety of other workers on mining sites and during drilling operations

  • operate auxiliary plants (such as pumps) to expel air, water and mud.

 

Working conditions

Mines are often located in remote areas. Miners and plant operators may have to work in dusty, hot and noisy conditions.

Many workers are employed at mine sites on a fly-in, fly-out basis, usually flying from a base location to the mine site, where they work for a number of weeks and then return to the base location.

Although they work as part of a team, miners generally work without direct supervision. Miners tend to work long hours in potentially dangerous conditions. Their work environments can be cramped, noisy, dirty and dark, though they may work inside air-conditioned vehicles such as bulldozers. As more mining processes become automated, miners are increasingly working in control rooms where they control and monitor mining machinery, which often results in a safer and more comfortable environment.

Mining operations around Australia have a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol.

Tools and technologies

Miners use large earthmoving equipment, drilling machinery, boggers (scooping machines), explosives and specialised rock-cutting equipment to excavate and extract minerals and rock. Sometimes these machines are used manually, while others are highly automated and controlled by miner-operated computers. These workers also use large trucks to transport materials out of the mine. Since the environment can be hazardous, all miners must wear protective uniforms that are bright, reflective and cover most of their skin. They also wear and use other personal protective equipment (PPE) including, steel-capped boots, hard hats, goggles, gloves, masks, earmuffs and portable torches.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Miner without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in small mining operations, underground metalliferous mining, underground coal operations or surface extraction operations might be helpful.

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