Australia : To live in a Mining camp

A mining camp somewhere in Western Australia

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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.swimming pole mine site australia

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…

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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 😉

Check this post if you want to know

how to get a job on a mine site.

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10 réponses

  1. Pierre dit :

    Salut jonathan,

    Tu peux me contacter par email ou sur skype pierre_girardot.

    Je suis en argentine, 4h de decallage horaire au cas où.

    A+

  2. jonathan dit :

    slt Pierre ,pourrais tu stp m’envoyer ton e-mail ou ton tel j’aimerai discuter avec toi directement si cela ne te derange pas .je pars dans pas lontemps avec un ami ,tu ma l’air de bon conseils .

  3. Pierre dit :

    Hello,

    Hays, the hiring agency i used in perth have office in sydney…maybe they can send you over there. There is no way to be sure to get it…the organisation is pretty bad usually on mine site to bring people. There are mines too in darwin or south…you can try to go in a town close to them if it doesn’t work from Sydney. Know that there is a drug screening on the recruiting process.

    Good luck

  4. ismael villanueva dit :

    hi pierre, mi name is ismael, im from chile, i will arrive to sidney on the 30 of december, and i would like to apply to a job similar as you, how can i do it? i know that i have to move to perth but i would like travel there just if a have a job in a mine or the possibility to apply to one,
    waiting for your answer.
    thx

  5. Pierre dit :

    I can’t help you. My only advice would be to get in touch with the australian embassy in your country. If you have some skills they are looking for, they might advise you to apply for a Visa. http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/
    Good luck !

  6. Pierre dit :

    Hello!

    My advice would be to start through hays so you can see how it’s going over there and if you don’t like a camp, you can go from one to an other easily. The kitchen is usually the place with a highest turn over and it’s hard to find one where there is no conflict or tension. It’s good to be free to leave just by asking hays to be send somewhere else. A chef usually doesn’t stay long without work. I know a friend of a friend working with hays and he is sometimes flying out of a camp after 2 weeks and flew the same day to the next one. He had a good reputation too but even if you are starting, hays, at least last years, was quick to put you on a roster. Then, when you find a place you like or find the catering company paying the most, approached them and see if they want to « buy » you from Hays.

    Hope that it will help.

    Cheers

    *Pierre Girardot* *Arzurwander.wordpress.com* Mobile : +614 66 99 47 48 | Skype : pierre_girardot

  7. Pierre dit :

    No soy ice cream (actually soy is not healthy…have you read the 4h body de tim ferriss ?). Yes the 2-1 roster is great. And the time pass very quickly as you don’t have any weekend to wait for. I usually start to count the days after a week and a half because I start to feel tired. As you know, I’m no more there unless they need again some casual. I might be sent to an other camp site but now, I’m passing my security and crowd control licence and will probably stay in perth for a while. Eventually, I would like to do security in a mining camp. We’ll see.

  8. tijl dit :

    Do they have soy ice cream ? Sounds like you have a good thing going ! 2 – 1 week scheme is perfect imho, rather work 2 weeks intensively and a week of than 3 weeks of average misery 🙂 Are there often new people coming in ? Interested in joining you / some mining camp in couple of months. A well enjoy the bush and watch out for the elusive warmblooded snake!

  9. Pierre dit :

    Salut Laurent !

    Pas de risque d’inondation où je suis. C’est grand soleil presque tout le temps mais il fait vraiment froid le soir 🙂
    J’ai chercher sans succès un boulot en environment mais mon Visa tourisme/voyage n’interesse pas grand monde. A moins d’être un résident permanent, c’est dur de trouver un « vrai » boulot.
    Normalement, je touche 20$ de l’heure jusqu’à 29 au delà de 60h de boulot mais les taxes sont très élevées. Je pourrais tout de même en récupérer une partie (des taxes) en partant.

    Je me demande s’il serait légal de bosser 70h semaine en France… Moi qui avais l’impression de bosser beaucoup à 40h… 😉

    Bonne journée !

  10. Lalo dit :

    Bonjour Pierre ! Content de voir que tu prends des « vacances » 😉 Y’a un concept à récupérer pour le Club Med.

    Je m’étais posé la question sur ton souhait de bosser à la mine, car j’avais en tête celles du nord-est qui ont été innondées. Mais je te voyais plus dans le cadre géo-architecture 😀

    Par contre, par curiosité, j’ai fais la conversion des dollars australiens : ça fait quasiment 11.50 euros de l’heure. On peut dire que ça encourgae à travailler. D’un côté en France, t’aurais la qualification travail de nuit.

    Bnn FIFO et « enjoy your stay ! »

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