A Glance at CostMine: US Metal and Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits

Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Favorites | 8 comments

A Glance at CostMine: US Metal and Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits

Most of us have used Infomine at one time or another as a resource, whether it was through a referral from Linkedin, word of mouth, or a google search result. I have personally used it to look at mining news, job postings, EduMine course offerings, operating mine ownership information, and status of exploration claims. Recently at SME, I connected with Jennifer Leinart, the President of InfoMine USA and she graciously offered to share their CostMine data, summary and report (normally only available through purchase) for this blogpost.

CostMine surveys, which include not only labor but also items such as equipment and earth-moving, are intended to provide annually updated information for estimation on new projects, and to provide a baseline for existing operations to adjust their compensation packages appropriately. This blog will focus on US Metal and Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits.

In 2011, InfoMine USA conducted a survey with over 21,000 mine employees at 119 mines in 30 states for information about wages, salaries, benefits, and incentive bonus plans. The data in this blogpost was collected between January 2011 and January 2012 via questionnaire responses and follow-up phone calls. If your company wants to participate in these surveys, you do receive a discount on the reports.

Taken directly from their summary report: “None of the mines is named, but all are identified by type of mine (surface or underground), annual production, number of employees and geographic locale. Represented are 18 underground operations and 75 surface mines, ranging in size from less than 100,000 to over 5,000,000 tons ore or product mined annually.”

Table 1 and 2 at the end of the post shows the Benchmark Hourly Wages for Selected Job Titles for Surface and Underground Mines and Summary of Annual Base Salaries for Selected Job Titles in All U.S, respectively. As you are reviewing the numbers, note that these are ranges and averages that represent the whole United States, and the numbers do not include benefits or bonus incentive plans.

In Table 2, the low end of the General Manager’s salary at $34,600 is explained by a small mine where the owner is the GM and he is compensated with stock and dividends and hence the outlier salary.

For more expansive information covering topics such as breaking out small mines (<100 employees) vs big mines, surface vs underground, union vs non-union, salaries & benefits by type of metal mine, incentive bonus plans, ETC., the 180-page report titled U.S. Metal and Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits, 2011 Survey Results is available from InfoMine USA, Inc. at www.costmine.com. The full report also breaks out, state by state, job classification & respective wage, benefits, vacation, sick leave and bonus plans.

The only teaser I will share from the full report is that the highest total compensation (US$) for a President & CEO in a major mining company, which includes the salary, pension, securities granted under options, and shares subject to resale restriction, total just under $40M! This information was gathered from each company’s 2011 annual proxy statement, reflecting 2010 compensation.

Other survey results available (for purchase directly from InfoMine) include Salaries, Wages and Benefits for U.S. Coal Mines, U.S. Aggregate & Construction Materials, Canadian Mines, and Exploration. Requests for information about these reports should be directed to: InfoMine USA, Inc., www.costmine.com

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  • Daniel Oktaviani Jayawardana

    how about in Indonesia?

    • vivien214

      Hi Daniel

      I don’t have statistics for Indo- sorry!


  • Chris Cusack

    Out of interest, salaries in Australia for the jobs in table 2 would generally be $100,000/year more.

    • vivien214

      Hey Chris,

      Same for an ex-pat in Africa :)

      Also while salaries in Australia are higher than US in general for mining, keep in mind these are base salaries. A mine engineer doing FIFO in the Pilbara may end up with $150k+ but that’s not his base.

  • Kerry Davis

    How about a Wireless Network Administrator? I have been told that the Wireless tech field is to new to have any comparisons. lol Sound like a good excuse to low ball!

    • Vivien

      LOL Kerry! You’re right – I’m not even sure that every mine who has a network has a wireless field tech. 

  • Chuck H.

    What about HME maintenance support staff? 

    • Vivien

      Hey Chuck,

      The job
      categories listed were selected because they are
      readily recognized and are common to many mines. Responsibilities included under the same title can
      vary considerably, and similar jobs can have
      varying titles from mine to mine. The jobs were
      categorized on the basis of job title only.