Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

Joe Clayton, Mining Engineering: What They Didn't Teach You at Uni!, 15th Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Mine Managers Association of Australia, 2015, 30-35.


I understand this is a technical conference but I’m not a technical person. I was thrilled when Naj asked me to present a paper at my old alumni but I explained that it won’t be full of technical detail.

I have been in mining now for 38 years. I started as a “Fed” underground and am now a CEO of a mining services business, the SubZero Group. I have been made redundant five times. I have lived in Wollongong, Singleton and Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley, Collie in South West WA, Gunnedah in North West NSW, Lihir Island in PNG, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, the Central Coast of NSW and Sydney. My kids went to eight different schools. I have managed mining operations in all the mainland states of Australia, New Ireland Province PNG, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and North Sulawesi in Indonesia. I have directly reported to Chinese, Japanese, American, Malaysian, Indonesian, English and Australian bosses. The Chinese boss did not speak a word of English. Mining is not for the fainthearted.