Kaimahi Huke Kōwaro
This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Miners and quarry workers operate machinery and equipment to extract and remove coal, minerals or rocks from underground and surface mines, or quarry sites, and may process them further into roading or construction aggregate, or industrial or agricultural lime.
Miners/quarry workers usually earn
$60K-$80K per year
Source: Hays, '2014 Hays Salary Guide', 2014.
Pay for miners and quarry workers varies depending on experience and level of responsibility.
- Quarry mill operators and miners usually earn between $60,000 and $80,000 a year.
- Miners trained to operate specialised equipment can earn up to $150,000.
Source: Hays, '2014 Hays Salary Guide', 2014.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job information)
What you will do
Miners and quarry workers may do some or all of the following:
- maintain, repair and operate mining or quarrying machinery
- construct underground tunnels and passageways and install roof supports
- prepare and maintain roadways within the work area
- set fuses and detonate explosives
- extract, load and transport coal, minerals or rocks
- operate transport hoists through mine shafts
- test for gas and install air ventilation shafts in underground mines
- carry out safety checks on machinery, equipment and vehicles, and work areas
- keep records of production, hazards and accidents
- weigh trucks on a weighbridge.
Skills and knowledge
Miners and quarry workers need to have:
- knowledge of different mining or quarrying methods
- the ability to operate mining or quarrying machinery
- knowledge of how to handle explosives and blasting
- mechanical skills to diagnose faults and carry out basic repairs
- knowledge of the health and safety regulations for working in a mine or quarry
- knowledge of environmental regulations.
Miners and quarry workers:
- usually do shift work, and/or work long hours including nights, weekends and being on call
- may work in conditions that are dangerous, noisy and dirty
- may work in cramped or confined conditions in underground mines, or varied weather conditions in opencast mines.
There are no specific requirements to become a miner or quarry worker, but a heavy vehicle licence is an advantage.
Some employers may expect you to complete a relevant qualification such as a New Zealand Certificate in Mining and Quarrying (Level 2) while working.
- MITO website - information about mining and quarrying qualifications
- New Zealand Transport Agency website - information on trucks and other heavy vehicle licences
Miners and quarry workers need to be:
- safety-conscious and able to remain calm in emergencies
- able to work well under pressure
- comfortable working underground, and in cramped conditions
- able to follow instructions, but capable of acting on their own initiative when necessary
- responsible, disciplined and able to work in a team
- efficient and practical.
Useful experience for miners includes:
- operating machinery
- driving heavy vehicles
- work in the construction industry
- engineering or general labouring.
Mining involves working with heavy equipment, so miners need a good level of fitness and strength, and good reflexes. Those who work in mines must pass a physical examination every six months.
Miners and quarry workers may also be required to undergo regular drug tests.
Find out more about training
- 0800 88 21 21 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.mito.org.nz
Check out related courses
What are the chances of getting a job?
Limited opportunities for miners
Opportunities for miners in New Zealand have declined due to:
- poor prices for coal and gold
- closure of some mines and a major coal mining company.
However, mining tends to be a cyclical industry, and some opportunities for miners may result from the exploration of new gold mining sites.
Increased demand for quarry workers
Spending on major infrastructure projects has increased demand for quarry workers.
Small and large businesses employ miners and quarry workers
Miners and quarry workers are employed by a variety of businesses. These range from small, two-person enterprises to large opencast (above ground) mines that employ hundreds of staff.
Major employers of miners in New Zealand include Bathurst Resources Limited (coal mining) and Oceana Gold Limited (gold mining).
- Aggregate & Quarry Association of New Zealand website, accessed October 2015, (www.aqa.org.nz).
- Hartley, S, 'Patient Optimists Hunker Down', Otago Daily Times, September 2015, (www.odt.co.nz).
- Hays, 'Hays 2014 Salary Guide', 2014, (www.hays.net.nz).
- MITO, 'Investment Plan 2014', accessed October 2015, (www.mito.org.nz).
- Ravensdown website, acessed October 2015, (www.ravensdown.co.nz).
- Solid Energy, 'Continuous Disclosure', accessed October 2015, (www.solidenergy.co.nz).
Progression and specialisations
With additional training, miners and quarry workers may progress to become supervisors or managers.
Miners and quarry workers tend to specialise as:
- Miners work in underground or opencast (above ground) mines extracting coal or other minerals, and may specialise further in drilling, blasting, operating mining machines or operating trucks.
- Quarry Worker
- Quarry workers remove minerals, rocks and stone from a quarry site, and usually process them further into roading or construction aggregate, industrial or agricultural lime, or into a commercial ingredient for a product (such as paint filler).
Last updated 12 June 2017