Kalgoorlie sits on the southern side of Western Australia and is located approximately 600 km east of Perth. The history of the region and gold mining activity, in Kalgoorlie, dates back over the last hundred years, and the area is synonymous with the super pit mine site. This part of WA is called the Gold Fields, which is a strip rich in gold. The area starts around Norseman and goes right through Coolgardie, Kambalda, Kalgoorlie, Leinster, to Mouth Keith. For many years, the Kalgoorlie site belonged to various companies leasing the property. Kargoorlie Consolidated Gold Mine is owned by Newmont Australia Limited and Barrick Gold of Australia Ltd. Both companies motivation for purchase of the entire site was reduction in cost. Less cost is involved if separate parcels of land are not operated by several different companies.
Kalgoorie’s super pit is the largest gold mine, in Australia, and one of the top ten producers worldwide. Gold mining feeds markets in “Italy and India” for the production of jewelry however its use is in high demand in other industries. Dental practices use gold, as well as various technological sectors. Gold is also known for its aesthetic value in architecture.
The super pit is a deep cavernous area with a series of tiered steps going into its center, located several hundred meters below the top. It is expected that the pit will grow to a size almost 4 meters long and over 1.5 meters in width. A network of roads slopes in and out of the pit. Gold from the pit is extracted using a process commonly referred to as strip mining
Mining gold in Kalgoorie might be perceived as a simple process however several steps must be completed, in order to safely and effectively remove it. Before mining of gold takes place, areas of previous mining activity are uncovered and dug out for safety purposes. Once this process is complete, drilling takes place to take samples. When gold is physically extracted, beneficial technology allows employees to operate machinery from a distance. Employees monitor mining activity without physically locating themselves in close proximity to drilling. A team of skilled and trained professionals work, in and around the Kalgoorlie mine, 24 hours per day 7 days per week, each day of the calendar year.
Activity and expansion of the Kalgoorlie mine is expected to continue over the next several years which will increase the need for qualified employees, in the mining industry. The industry calls on the need for skilled professionals with technical skills like electricians, pipe fitters, engineers, and individuals with a mechanical background. Outside of the need for employees in the mine itself, two plants process gold after extraction and also hire individuals with specialized skills and training. Other obvious careers around the mine are those in areas of scientific study like geology. Ambitious prospective employees with the desire to learn a trade can become involved in various apprentice positions, learning a valuable trade.
Unlike most mining operations which require employees to temporarily live on the site of the mine, working rosters in a fly in fly out position, Kalgoorlie is a thriving community for employees to relocate permanently. The community reflects its historical presence with a booming tourist industry and many old buildings characteristic of its long history, in the gold mining industry.
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