Australia : To live in a Mining camp
A mining camp somewhere in Western Australia
I met many people who’ve never been in a mining camp but think that it’s quite difficult to live there and expect the food to be bad. Well, I tested the mining life for you and let’s say that a mining camp is like a holyday camp except that you work and make lot of money.
The mining companies are now taking a very good care of their worker and want them to feel at home. About the food, I’m sure that unless you are on a very special diet, everybody can eat the way he want as a great variety of food is available. I’m vegetarian and I have no problem to feed myself. Even a vegan or a raw foodist will be happy.
Just to give an idea, for breakfast, you can choose between 7 kind of cereals; low fat, full cream or soya milk and there are at least 3 different kind of cake for desert and around 10 different flavor of ice cream…
Most of the worker have got a very unhealthy diet based on animal protein and ice cream. As the job in the mine is fully mechanized, they spend their day sitting on the seat of a truck or some big machine. So, to burn the fat, the company installed a gym and a swimming pool in the camp.
Then as the workers also need to have fun, they installed a leisure room with big screen tv and pool table and every evening they project some movies. There is also a pub : Alcohol and cigarettes are the only think you will have to pay but, still, it will be cheaper than in Perth. To relax, I prefer to go running barefoot in the bush. “Crazy” people said but it’s safe now…too cold for the snakes. I’m looking forward to get my fivefinguer shoes (To know why barefoot walking is good for you, check this link 🙂
There is also one room with some computer and a access to a fast internet. The wifi should be available soon in all the camp.
In your room you’ve got a flat screen tv and the access to the cable tv, AC and a very good bed. A cleaner is coming every 5 days. Soap and towel provided.
So you probably get it, a mining camp today is really comfortable place and good for your budget as the company pay for everything: The flight to go to the camp, your accommodation and the food. After two weeks, I was not willing to go back to Perth, back to a backpacker hostel where I have to share a room with 5 people, have to pay for my food and so on.
In two weeks of mining camp, I’ve spend only 8$ to buy some washing powder. A job mate didn’t believe me when I told him that you had to buy your own powder because he went to many camp and it was usually provided for free…
And what am I doing over there ? I’m in the dining room, preparing the floor for the breakfast, running on the floor during the rush and then, cleaning the room or washing pots in the kitchen. I’m working from 2am to 1pm (1 hour break), 70h a week during two weeks for around 1100$ per week. Yes, I’ll do that amount of money in one month in France… but I’m not on 35hours a week and still, that the lowest salary you can get on a mine site. Anyway, quite tired, you flight out (it take one hour) to Perth for one week, rest a bit and you are ready for another swing. So, to speak the local language, I’m on a FIFO (flyin-flyout) job with a 2-1 roster (2 weeks on site, 1 on break). I’ve done this job already 5 weeks…
If they don’t find me too annoying with my environmental concern about the amount of trash we generate, arguing with my jobmates to not provide plastic forks and knife when the guys can use some reusable one (I lost this battle… laziness won) or meeting the head chef about the absence of trash management (everything go in a hole in the bush…too expensive to carry the trash back to Perth, said a company doing billions of profit)… well, I might continue to do this job for a little while…or not 😉