ABC News

Mining engineering graduates have the highest employment of all engineering specialties.

That is according to data from Graduate Careers Australia, which shows that mining engineering graduates have an employment rate of 92 per cent.

Director of resources engineering at Monash University, Professor Bre-Anne Sainsbury, said she was not surprised by the figures, given the lift in the sector, especially with the advent of more renewable energy. “The renewable energy industry is the best thing that ever happened to the mining industry,” she said.

“Even things like infrastructure that is needed to develop the wind energy projects, all the steel that goes into making the turbines alone.

“The lithium we need for all the batteries, the rare earth elements that we need for all the motors.

“Renewable energy is absolutely driving our industry to the next level.”

Professor Sainsbury believed there was a lot of negative sentiment towards mining, with the perception it was all about fossil fuels and environmental damage, and that led to smaller numbers signing up for the mining engineering course.

“The majority of us who are working in the industry just get on and do it, and think the global contribution and contribution to the nation speaks for itself,” she said.

“And there is also an historical element and for sure the industry didn’t do everything right, in hindsight.

“But our graduates, and anyone you speak to in the industry now, their number one commitment is to the environment and our social licence to operate.”

Professor Sainsbury said one of the most frustrating aspects of the negative attitude was that it completely disregarded reality.

“Take mobile phones, you need a minimum of 40 minerals in one mobile phone,” she said.

“But the younger generation are generally disconnected from where materials come from for their day-to-day life.”

Author: WASMA

The history of the Western Australian School of Mines Alumni (WASMA) reflects the ups and downs of the Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) and the role it has played in supporting graduates in a range of activities and events. It also describes the important role that graduates have played in ensuring WASM remains in Kalgoorlie. Learn more.