A mining engineer develops and ensures the safe usage of equipment and structures used to extract minerals in mines, pits and quarries.
Mining engineering is an international profession with many positions available overseas. The island of Ireland has an abundant mining sector, with active mines of gold, base metals, gypsum and salt. Mining engineers’ duties vary: they might focus on the development of mining equipment, assess the feasibility and productivity of potential mine locations, plan and manage extraction projects, or work for government agencies carrying out safety inspections.
- Assessing the feasibility of new sites.
- Managing budgets and costing and organizing supplies.
- Training and supervising staff.
- Liaising with and advising managerial and technical staff (geologists, engineers etc.)
- Ascertaining extraction risks.
- Using specialist computer applications to maximise planning and production.
- Monitoring and evaluating underground performance.
- Managing construction projects (eg to reclaim sites, fill in disused shafts etc).
- Ensuring that operations and equipment comply with health and safety requirements.
- Planning and implementing extraction systems.
Travel: is very likely. Periods spent working overseas are common.
Working hours: are generally long and can include weekends.
Location: opportunities generally exist where mineral deposits are located such as Co Kilkenny, Co Tipperary and Co Monaghan. Salt is produced at Kilroot, Co Antrim. Multinational companies offer positions overseas.
At least a primary degree in geology, mining engineering, mineral or quarry engineering or minerals surveying is normally required for entry. Relevant work placements or working in junior positions is extremely beneficial as mining industry experience is preferred by employers. Chartered Engineers in Ireland are listed with Engineers Ireland.