By Jack Caldwell

The July/August issue of Engineering and Mining Journal (E&MJ) has an article on mining salaries for 2010. Unfortunately the full article, A Mining Career Pays Well,is not available on-line, so you will have to seek out the paper copy to see all the numbers.I can quote but a few.

The salaries listed are based on 465 survey returns. They note “With only a 5.4% response rate, statistically this survey cannot be considered conclusive.” Still it is worth looking at the salaries of those who bothered to respond–mostly mid-level managers, engineers, metallurgists, and geologists.

I am not sure this is what you will earn, but for what it is worth, here is the first list of worldwide total salaries by “base sector.”

  • Administrative = $177,297
  • Mineral Processing = $129,101
  • Open-Pit= $114,606
  • Underground = $129,619
  • Exploration = $111,041

To compare salaries by regions, here is the total salary (in $1,000s) for the “base sector” Exploration:

  • Worldwide = 111
  • U.S.& Canada =126
  • Australia = 104
  • Latin America =91
  • Africa =190
  • Europe = NA
  • Asia = 89.

Is the extra $100,000 paid to exploration geologists in Africa danger pay? Is there no exploration worth talking about in Europe?

Here is a list of total salaries by job classification for open-pit mines worldwide (in $1,000)

  • Mine Manager = 166
  • Operations Manager =155
  • Superintendent =88
  • ChiefEngineer = 122
  • Mining Engineer = 93
  • Geologist = 71
  • Technical Support = 104

Not sure what the Technical Support folk do to earn more than the mining engineer or geologist. Probably the environmental engineer or regulatory compliance manager - what mine can function without them?

I have not sought or obtained permission from E&MJ to list these numbers. I hope they agree it is worthwhile making some more available–and advertising their efforts in collecting and disseminating this information. Reward them by getting their magazine.