Environmental coordinators make $96,000 per year: Canadian wage survey round up for miners

The CostMine 2012 Survey of Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits is the only factual source of information that I know of on the salaries of technical, managerial, and administrative folk who work on Canadian Mines.   The data come from fifty-six metal, industrial mineral, and fossil fuel mines.  Fourteen are underground operations; thirty-three surface mines.   Size ranged from one million to five million tonnes ore or product mined annually.

Let as start with the Secretary; we all know and like them. And as one fellow said to me yesterday: “I could not function without her—she keeps me informed and on track.”

In the eastern region of Canada, the secretary’s wage ranges from $40,200 to $56,000 with an average of $50,800.  In the western region the range is $47,100 to $63,400 with an average of $59,100.  A big difference—does it reflect differential living costs, more productive mines, or just the hammer-clout of fossil (oil sands) mines?  This cannot be, for the average salary for an Administrative Assistant in the east is $55,500, and in the west it is $52,000.   Maybe they just define secretary and administrative assistant differently across the country.  In fact the Secretary, on average, at metal mines makes $53,700 a year; at diamond and industrial mineral mines $40,200; and at fossil fuel mines $59,000.  Diamonds are not the secretary’s best friend.

But then, consider: the eastern accountant on a mine gets, on average, a salary of $76,500 whereas the counterpart in the west gets, on average $91,600.  Guess accountants know how to look after the money.

Here are a few more ranges and averages for engineers and geologists (numbers in thousands of dollars per year; the first is the low, the second the average, and the third the upper; these are totals across the country.)

  • Senior Engineer:  94/122/177
  • Mine engineer:  66/91/126
  • Metallurgist = 52/86/115
  • Senior Geologist = 90/118/155
  • Environmental Coordinator = 63/96/183

I am impressed by the mine environmental coordinator whose salary is $183,000 per year.  The mine must have some profound environmental issues.

I see little signficant difference in salaries at surface versus underground mines.  But there is a difference by commodity.  Here are some numbers: the first for metal mines; the second for diamond and industrial mineral mines; and the third for fossil fuel mines.  All in thousands per year.

  • General Manager = 200/156/191
  • Mine Manager = 144/124/168
  • Mill Superintendent = 128/114/153
  • Mine Engineer = 91/75/93
  • Surveyor = 68/59/66
  • Personnel Manager = 109/98/111

A word of caution.  These are but a few of the many numbers in the CostMine report.  I highlight only those that interest me today.  Do not get upset if your salary is way below—keep in mind fifty percent of folk get less than the average.