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Mining is a significant primary industry in Australia and a major contributor to the Australian economy. There are many different ores and minerals mined in Australia. The mining industry provides a massive amount of people highly paid, highly skilled jobs and many hundreds of thousands more jobs for those that work in the supply and services companies that service this industry.

According to Wikipedia, mining in Australia generates $138 billion per annum, which represents over half of total good and services. It also contributes 6 – 7 % of Australia’s GDP, this far outweighs both the agricultural industry and tourism. The industry employs 187 400 people directly which is about 2% of the workforce, and a further close on 600 000 jobs are indirectly provided in the support and services industries.

What do Exploration Managers do?

Exploration Managers play a major role in the mining industry as they are responsible for leading and operating the mining company’s exploration function in order to discover mineral resource deposits. They are also responsible for evaluating exploration opportunities and their value, and they rely on their expertise to ensure compliance with regulations.

Typical duties are as follows:

• Plan and direct the company’s exploration activities
• Ensure that the exploration goals are achieved on time and within budget
• Identify exploration opportunities
• Prepare and oversee operational budgets to evaluate the economic, and environmental efficiency and feasibility of the mineral extraction process
• Oversee and manage a team involved in identifying and assessing the location, quantity and quality of mineral deposits in the earth
• Oversee and manage the mapping of locations where the mineral deposits would be located
• Manage and oversee geologists and drilling operations in order to collect samples
• Assessing extraction risks
• Prepare technical reports for use by mining, engineering and management personnel
• Overseeing and devising solutions around issues related to land reclamation and water and air pollution

Geologists have always played a key role in the mining industry and some year’s back Geologists in Australia were in high demand, especially those in Exploration. With the downturn in mining worldwide and especially in Australia, Geologists have been hard hit, with reports of mass job losses for Geologists. ABC News reported in 2015 that according to an Australian Institute of Geoscientist survey that about a third of geologists in Australia were unemployed or underemployed as commodity prices remained low and exploration work became increasingly rare.

What are Exploration Managers in Australia earning?

Salaries for professionals in mining have always been good in Australia. Some years back when mining in Australia was booming, there were reports of newly graduated Geologists asking up to $90 000 straight out of university. Sadly times have changed and there are now reports of graduate Geologists in Australia who are offering to work for free just to be able to get a foot in the doorway and gain some work experience.

For the more senior Geologists working in Australia, times are tough as well and jobs scarce. For those who are fortunate enough to still be employed in the mining sector in Australia salaries it appears that salaries can still be competitive.

According to the results of our recent salary survey, Exploration Managers in Australia are earning a median base pay of $195 000 per annum. On the 25th %ile Exploration Managers are earning a base pay of $177 500 per annum, and those on the 75%ile are earning a base pay of $223 500. If we take benefits into consideration, according to our salary survey, the median total cost to company salary is $200 000 per annum, on the 25%ile $188 000, and those on the 75%ile $285 200.

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