Mining, Energy & Utilities
Mine surveyors assess potential mining sites, map mineral deposits, and assess commercial viability, risk, and environmental impacts.
What does a Mine Surveyor do?
Mine surveyors assess potential mining sites, including mapping mineral deposits, assessing the commercial viability of the mine, and assessing risk and environmental impacts. They also help to remediate and restore sites once the raw materials have been extracted.
As a mine surveyor, you would:
- carrying out initial surveys and assessments on potential sites
- chart surface areas using global positioning systems (GPS)
- build 3D models using digital imaging and specialist CAD (computer-aided design) software to map the structure of a site
- provide valuations of mineral deposits
- assess whether plans are workable based on all the required criteria
- deal with ownership rights or native title
- negotiate contracts to buy, lease or provide access onto sites
- prepare planning applications and liaise with relevant authorities
- produce site maps, including mine structures and deposit layers, using geographic information systems (GIS)
- carry out risk assessments related to rock structures and potential ground movements
- assess the potential environmental effects and impacts of mining
- update maps during a mine's ongoing development
- give advice on how best to restore the landscape after mining is complete.
Key skills and interests
To become a mine surveyor, you would need:
- to be good at engineering, science and maths
- an interest in technology and geology
- a high level of attention to detail
- able to analyse and interpret geographical data
- good physical fitness
- able to work independently or as part of a team.
Working hours and conditions
Most mine surveyors work full time. Hours may be irregular depending on whether you are undertaking field or office work.
Mine surveying involves both field work and indoor work. When working outside, or at a mine site, you would stand for long periods and often walk long distances, sometimes in bad weather.
How to become an Mine Surveyor?
Entry Level Education
To become a mine surveyor you usually have to complete a degree in surveying, spatial science, geospatial science or geographical information systems at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
All surveyors need to be registered. Depending on the state in which you live, registration requires completion of a relevant degree, and some combination of practical experience and demonstration of competence through technical projects or further study.
Registration as a surveyor in any Australian state or territory, or in New Zealand, allows for registration anywhere else in these zones through an application process, involving payment of the appropriate fees and meeting minimum statutory requirements.
Employment of surveyors is projected to remain neutral.
Demand for mine surveyors is dependent on the level of activity in the mining industry. Currently there is some slowdown in new mines being surveyed and built, however new investment in mining resources such as tech metals means the industry will continue to offer opportunities.