... is the nation’s 6th largest export earner ... earned $14 billion of export revenue in 2014-15 ... is the 2nd largest producer of gold in the world


According to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census data, direct employment in the gold industry rose from 9,775 in 2006 to 16,081 in 2011, an increase of 65%.  The industry also supports many more jobs, especially in regional Australia, with indirect gold-related employment estimated at more than 34,300.

Chart 1: Employment in Australian gold mining industry

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Minerals Council of Australia (MCA)

Western Australia accounts for roughly 60% of direct employment in the industry, followed by New South Wales (14%), Queensland (10%), Victoria (7%), Northern Territory (4%) and South Australia and Tasmania (2% each).

Wages in the gold industry are high, with a sector-wide average of more than $140,000 per annum.  This is roughly double the all-industries average in Australia.

The industry’s workforce is becoming more diverse. At the 2011 Census, the female employment share stood at 17%. More than 10% of the industry’s workforce is aged over 55 years. Indigenous Australians make up 2.4% of the industry workforce, up from 2.2% in 2006.

Case Study: Newmont - Boddington 'Hot Seaters'

Newmont Boddington Gold has developed innovative workforce strategies which respond to the needs of local communities as well as to company objectives and values.

In 2009, Newmont began scheduling shorter shifts for haul truck drivers, in part to prevent downtime during morning tea and lunch breaks. A driving shift between 9am and 2pm provided a perfect opportunity for mothers of school-aged children to work in mining, as well as ensuring uninterrupted hauling at Boddington.

Seven women and one man currently drive Haulpak dump trucks during the 'school shift' Monday through Friday, while several other women drive full-time at the mine.  About 30% of Boddington’s Haulpak drivers are women.

In March 2012, Newmont Boddington was recognised by the Western Australia Chamber of Minerals and Energy with its 'Outstanding Company Initiative' award at an International Women’s Day Women in Mining breakfast in Perth. The Boddington 'Hot Seaters' have also featured in the Minerals Council of Australia’s high-profile 'This is our Story' advertisements.

In terms of local employment, Newmont Boddington Gold is also working to lift the number of Gnaala Karla Booja people employed at the mine. Indigenous employment at Boddington is approximately 5% (50 direct employees) with a further 34 Indigenous contractor employees. The company’s goal is to double Indigenous employment.

Newmont Boddington Gold’s three-month Gnaala Pre-employment (Workready) Program involves training and providing work experience. The company is also placing a greater emphasis on the retention of Indigenous employees and the creation of alternative employment pathways. This will ensure that Newmont Boddington Gold is not only successful in hiring Indigenous employees, but retaining them as well.

*Related employment: Under ANZSIC guidelines not all mining employment is reflected in ABS’s Mining industry classification. Other categories not captured include: people working in catering on mine sites and transport personnel (truck and train drivers), contractors employed in site preparation, employees engaged in smelting and refining of metals and employees engaged in geographical surveying etc.