Executive managing director of the joint venture, Greg Walker, says that at any one time, Nevada Gold Mines is recruiting for about 300 vacant jobs and that turnover is roughly 12 percent each year.
Vacancies vary from machine operators at the primary level to engineers and information technology experts. Employees are being replaced despite annual salaries in the mining sector averaging about $70,000, which is much more than the statewide average of $38,000. Even at Las Vegas job fairs, mining sector recruiters spread the word about open positions to broaden their applicant pools.
Even yet, Walker claims that prospective employees are unaware of the career possibilities available in the mining sector. Some job seekers do not want to settle in a tiny town like Elko, Winnemucca, or Battle Mountain, Nevada. Walker went on to say, “But this is a worldwide problem, not simply a northern Nevada one.” Walker stated that since new hires are less productive than experienced staff, Nevada Gold Mines cannot maximize its operations.
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The Pan Mine, located 28 miles southeast of Eureka and owned by Toronto-based Fiore Gold, is a prime example of a smaller miner facing this issue. Recently, the business informed its investors that the mining labor contractor had a higher-than-normal turnover, notwithstanding compensation increases. Ore output fell roughly 13% short of expectations as new hires came on board.
The supply-chain issues that have arisen since the COVID-19 outbreak are also causing problems for gold miners in Nevada. According to Parshley, it is becoming more challenging to locate drilling rigs for testing out promising possibilities. It used to take two weeks for laboratories to examine materials; today, it takes ten.
Adding to the problem, Walker said that truckers that cannot find drivers have to put off deliveries.