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Employer reports lower production due to ‘periodic’ skills shortage

Edna May Mine
Edna May Mine

A metal producer performed weaker than expected because it intermittently struggles to find available mine workers.

Ramelius Resources only produced 61,840 ounces of gold during the June quarter, and 272,109 ounces for the full 2021 financial year. This was slightly lower than its maximum target of 280,000 ounces set at the beginning of the fiscal year, according to the company’s latest production update.

‘Periodic’ staff shortages

The employer revealed it often struggles to attract mine staff who are ready to work at the Edna May Gold Mine in Westonia, 301km west of Kalgoorlie.

“During June 2021, several minor issues had a cumulative impact on gold production at the Edna May production centre,” the company said in the production update.

“In particular, numerous rainfall events in the region reduced haulage volumes from the Marda operation, periodic personnel shortages impacted production from the Edna May underground operation, and the COVID-19 related lockdown at the end of the month limited the company’s ability to overachieve late in the quarter.”

Hiring now

Ramelius is responding to the shortage by considering job applicants with less than 12 months’ experience.

The following vacancies have been advertised:

  • entry level/graduate geologists (multiple opportunities)
  • exploration geologists (multiple)
  • production mining engineer
  • emergency services officer.

Click here to apply. Successful applicants will be offered either a bus-in bus-out or fly-in fly-out (FIFO) roster of eight days on and six days off. They will also receive a “competitive” salary, 10 per cent super, performance incentives, training and mentoring.

“Shortlisting will commence immediately,” the company said on the SEEK website.

40,000 jobs to fill

The announcement came amid a severe shortage of available staff across the Golden State, mostly due to the 4.7 per cent unemployment rate and periodic state border closures.

The resources sector needs to hire a further 40,000 workers between now and 2023 just to keep up with demand for new construction and shipments, according to the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia.

Rio Tinto recently tried to avoid a drop in production due to the lack of enthusiastic employees by offering FIFO workers up to $30,000 to move to the West Coast.

QMEB understands the money can be used to cover the cost of relocating, living, flights, renting and repaying the mortgage. The latest amount eclipses the State Government’s previous $20,000 Building Bonus Grant to help cover the cost of building a new home in Perth or regional WA. Applications for that grant closed at the end of 2020.

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