Contractors have penetrated all areas of the Australian mining indu!;try over the last 15 years. The process started in the W A gold and nickel mines and has since spread around the nation to iron ore, base metals and coal mines. The mine contracting industry has progressed from tentative beginnings in the 80s to the current situation where it is now providing high standards of professional management, safety and v/orkmanship with competent people and high quality plant and equipment. People are the most important link in the mining contract management chain. This applies equally to both the principals and contractors in the mining industry .The key is competent people on all sides who can manage the projects well and build effective working relationships.