Mining Engineer Job Description
Mining Engineer Job Description
Mining engineers specialize in the development of mines and operations that take place underground. They take into account the effect of mines on their immediate environment before developing new sites, and they typically supervise mining production processes, conduct feasibility studies, monitor activities underground, and manage the site closure and rehabilitation process. One of the most important duties of a mining engineer is to find ways to mitigate damage to the environment which occurs as a result of mining activities.
They are typically involved in every stage of a mining operation. The first step is usually the discovery of mineral deposits, and mining engineers will usually be the ones to determine whether or not a mine is profitable. They do this by assessing the quantity and purity of the ore after drilling and studying samples.
Mining engineers usually work in tunnelling, mineral recovery, quarrying, and mining consultancy. They often advise clients and project managers on mineral extraction, and can work closely with geologists to find mineral reserves, conduct site surveys, and drill core samples to find specific ores or compounds. Engineers will also be involved in the processing of minerals for the purpose of production of mineral commodities.
Mining engineers must have good project management skills because the success of any project they undertake depends on their leadership and organizational skills. They must be able to work in a collaborative environment, as they often find themselves working closely with geologists, technicians and other staff. Budgeting skills are also very important, as are time management skills. Mining engineers will also sometimes need to learn new skills, including blasting and drilling, over the course of the project.
Mining engineers usually enter the field with degrees in mining engineering, mineral engineering, geology, or civil engineering. A bachelor's degree in mining engineering, accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) will provide engineers with a wide range of career opportunities, both in the UK and abroad. Candidates who do not have a degree in a relevant discipline can significantly improve their odds of finding employment if they obtain a postgraduate degree in mining engineering. It is possible to find work in the field without a relevant degree, but choices are limited, even with a significant amount of experience in a related field.
It is important to choose the right degree course, because the degree can limit or broaden one's career choices abroad down the line. Success can depend on one's willingness to travel, and it is important to get a degree that is recognised by the country in which the engineer wants to seek employment.
Mining engineers perform a number of tasks on any given project. They determine the commercial viability of mining projects, design and model potential new sites, produce plans for mines, supervise the staff on the site, and oversee the health and safety, particularly keeping an eye on ventilation and similar issues. They are responsible for ensuring that all equipment complies with safety regulations, determining methods of extraction, and planning for transition from surface to mines. Mining engineers will also manage budgets and make sure that they are not exceeded.