Study Mining Science in Australia

The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) represents the interests of professionals associated with all facets of the mining, exploration and minerals processing industries. The AusIMM provides professional development opportunities to members via conferences, publications and networking events.

Study Mining Science in Australia

High commodity prices driven by a seemingly insatiable demand for minerals from Japan and India have seen the global minerals industry in a boom phase that seems set to continue well into the future. The skills shortage generated by this boom has seen a strong interest from students in taking science and engineering degrees. Australian minerals programs are amongst the most advanced in the world and present a wonderful opportunity for international students to learn from the world’s best in a minerals rich environment. Australian universities offer a diverse range of highly sought after undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in mining and metallurgy and provide wonderful campus learning environments.

Minerals have played a crucial part in the development of Australia since Indigenous Australians used minerals to colour paints in ancient times through to more recently, the discovery of coal in New South Wales in the 1790s with the arrival of the British and the first gold rushes of the 1850s which put Australia on the world stage for the first time. Since these early gold rushes, the Australian minerals industry has grown to be a world leader in coal, iron ore, bauxite, diamonds, manganese ore, lead, zinc, tin, nickel, uranium, silver and gold. The minerals industry is now a vital element of Australia’s economic success and accounted for 26.7% of Australia’s exports in 2004. An advanced minerals education sector has supported the development of the industry and continues to do so.

Mining engineering degrees are available in most Australian States, in both capital cities and regional centers. These programs have close links to their local industries and usually have industry advisory panels to ensure programs are closely allied to industry needs and graduates can hit the ground running upon entering the workforce. Most of these programs also contribute to Australian certificates of competency.

There are dedicated extractive metallurgy programs available in Perth, Kalgoorlie, Ballarat and Brisbane as well as many options in chemical and materials engineering throughout Australia, for pathways into mineral processing and metallurgy. Again, many of these programs have close links to industry and have strong industry support.

There are a host of earth science and geology departments throughout Australia producing a range of geoscience graduates who go on to careers in industry, government, research and academia. The rich geological landscape in Australia has shaped the diversity of these departments, all of which command different areas of expertise.

Salaries for graduates entering the minerals industry are currently amongst the highest of all graduates. In Australia, mining engineering graduates generally start on salary packages ranging between A$70,000 and A$100,000, however some packages are well over A$100,000. Metallurgists also earn around this bracket as do mining and exploration geologists. Median starting salaries for all bachelor degree graduates in Australia was A$40,000 in 2005. The mining industry is high paying and mining companies now have more flexible employment arrangements including fly in - fly out from major cities.

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