Mines in local recruitment drive

Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
Andrew Carey is the longest serving employee at Narngulu Operations after 31 years with Iluka. He began his career at Iluka (AMC at the time) in 1988, completing his Mechanical Apprenticeship. His roles have included Maintenance Coordinator, Reliability Engineer and now Project Coordinator.
Camera IconAndrew Carey is the longest serving employee at Narngulu Operations after 31 years with Iluka. He began his career at Iluka (AMC at the time) in 1988, completing his Mechanical Apprenticeship. His roles have included Maintenance Coordinator, Reliability Engineer and now Project Coordinator. Credit: Iluka Resources

Geraldton-based sand mining companies Iluka and GMA are on a recruitment drive as demand for mineral sands products surges.

Both prefer to recruit locally.

“They are probably our two best mining company employers at the moment,” Mid West Development Corporation chief executive Gavin Treasure said.

“If a sand miner has a policy of employing locally, the family is also based in town and that extends to schooling, sport, health and other social amenity benefits.

“And more of the money stays in the local economy.”

GMA Garnet Group has mined, processed and shipped garnet from Port Gregory and Geraldton for more than 35 years and is seeing significant global growth.

General manager Amanda Gundry said she was increasing local recruitment.

“We are recruiting motivated candidates of all experience levels from junior to senior, trades, logistics and administration to technical roles across our processing facility in Geraldton and our mine site in Port Gregory,” she said.

“We operate sites with an extended mine life, which means we offer long-term career opportunities for all of our employees.

“We accommodate their lifestyles by offering four-on, four-off rosters, with daily travel from Geraldton so they can be home every night with their families.”

Ms Gundry said GMA’s commitment to workers’ wellbeing, safety, training and professional development was reflected in the number of long-serving employees at GMA.

Iluka Mining Narngulu operations manager Courtney Ackland said his longest-serving employee started as an apprentice with the company three decades ago.

He said Iluka had used a “values based” recruitment approach to employ 60 new workers.

“We look back on those 60 people and have been extremely satisfied with the quality and values of our new employees,” Mr Ackland said.

“It’s not about taking people with significant mine experience, it’s about taking people with the right values and knowing we’ve got the systems and structure in place to ensure they are competent.”

He said the workforce was about 24 per cent female and 13 per cent indigenous.

Iluka’s Narngulu plant will process some of the product from the new Cataby mine from July.

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