What Does a Mine Manager Do?

Mary McMahon

A mine manager supervises operations at a mine to keep them efficient and safe. In addition to working in the field to monitor workers and conditions, the manager also spends time in an office to handle paperwork associated with the daily operations of the mine. This party is accountable to the mining firm for incidents at the mine, and is responsible for the overall safety of the facility. Mine managers often have assistants to help them do their jobs effectively and thoroughly.

Mining is a very dangerous profession.
Mining is a very dangerous profession.

Mine managers are responsible for making sure a mine meets production goals set by the owner after evaluating available resources and limitations. They work with suppliers and support staff to make sure the mining personnel have what they need to operate effectively and efficiently. This can include meetings with engineers to discuss planned mining activities as well as other communications sessions with personnel who handle heavy equipment and other supplies. If production does need to slow or stop, the manager must be able to show why and provide a plan for getting back on track.

Mine managers are responsible for making sure a mine meets production goals.
Mine managers are responsible for making sure a mine meets production goals.

Safety is also critical for a mine manager. This member of the team checks up on workers, sets up safety trainings, and makes sure all necessary safety equipment is in place and in working order. In the event of safety violations, the manager must address the issue quickly to bring the mine into compliance with the law and industry standards. Regulators who inspect the mine can also ask to see records and documentation supporting claims of safety.

In the office, a mine manager sets up schedules, places orders, tracks production, and engages in other administrative tasks. These can include payroll, monitoring employee hours, and other activities related to employee compensation and health. Mine managers may also need to travel to inspect company facilities, attend conferences, and engage in professional development activities. These provide a chance to learn more about industry standards and practices, and to improve performance at a mine.

Mining companies typically require a bachelor's degree in mining engineering, at a minimum, for a candidate who wishes to apply for a mine manager position. Experience is also critical, as some of the work involves activities that are best learned in the field on the job, rather than in an academic setting. Trainee positions working under a manager or senior engineer can offer an opportunity to learn about the nature of the work and develop experience that may be useful for applying when mine manager positions open up.

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