On our podcasts, we normally talk to miners who are from Australian. Many of them grew up in small towns like Cobar and from a very early age knew that they would work in the Australian mines.
But sometimes we have the chance to talk to people who have done something entirely different: making the leap to work in mining in an entirely different country.
On the latest episode of Full Production, I spoke to Dan Madre. The son of Ukrainian immigrants, Dan left Australia in the 1980’s to start a decades-long career in the Indonesian mines. It’s an incredible story he tells me, chock-full of anecdotes about volatile politics and old-school mining practices.
His story, though, is a great lesson to any miners who may be starting out, or who even are just looking for a change of scenery. We normally just think about Australia when it comes to employment opportunities, but there are so many mining opportunities available around the globe. We’ve had guests who have worked in Africa, Canada and elsewhere, and they’ve all come to me saying that they were some of the most formative periods of their lives.
Dan himself heads a company called Danmar Explorindo, which helps Indonesian mining companies with a full-service consultancy package, from initial exploration to mine development and finally to production. Even now, decades after beginning his career in Indonesia, Dan calls the country a “gaping opportunity”.
And that’s true of so many places. If you have any experience in Australian mining — or even if you’re just starting out — you’ll be valuable to a mine abroad. If you have some level of expertise, there’s a good chance that a mine in a less-developed country will need people to oversee their operations and make sure they’re up to international standards. Or, if you’re a newcomer to the mining game, there are always opportunities to cut your teeth in a new locale.
If you decide to work abroad, the pay will likely be great and the stories even greater. I know plenty of people who sing the praises of doing a mining stint abroad, and the people I’ve met who have done it themselves always have something incredible to bring back to Australia.
Just make sure that you’re respectful of the local culture. While miners are known for their rambunctious nature, you don’t want to be sent back to Australia with your tail between your legs because you offended some people. Play it smart, but have some fun too.
Listen to my entire conversation with Dan here.