A RECOVERY in metals prices and competition from new mines has resources company Glencore looking to fill more than 200 job vacancies in North Queensland.
The miner revealed the vacancies yesterday as it staged an open day with recruitment firm Hays in Townsville after advertising to recruit people for its zinc operations in Mount Isa.
The miner rejected suggestions it was about to boost production in zinc, slashed two years ago when prices tumbled. Instead, it said it was hiring across its copper, zinc and logistics business and that vacancies had grown as labour market conditions tightened in North Queensland.
Glencore Zinc Australia manager human resources Phil Bamber said the open day was one of its strategies for recruiting the right people.
"We are actively recruiting for more than 200 vacancies across our North Queensland copper and zinc operations, which incorporate Mount Isa Mines, Ernest Henry Mining, the Townsville Copper Refinery and Townsville Port Operations," Mr Bamber said.
"These include our core underground operational and maintenance roles as well as key technical services positions like mine engineers, geologists, and surveyors."
Glencore employs about 3500 to 4000 people in North Queensland.
Mr Bamber said Glencore offered significant incentives to encourage people to live in Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Townsville and to make the most of the vibrant and diverse lifestyle in the regional hubs.
"These incentives include generous relocation reimbursement packages, regional living allowances and other benefits," Mr Bamber said.
Among the people to attend yesterday's open day were Andreas and Chrystine Pena.
The couple, originally from Papua New Guinea, have been employed in the mining industry for more than 15 years but were retrenched several years ago from roles at the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory.
Mr Pena, a mining engineer, said he could see commodity prices improving and opening more opportunities for people like him who had lost work in the mining downturn.
"Metals prices are going back up. It's looking bright and we are pretty excited," Mr Pena said.
Ms Pena, who has worked in mine recruitment, contracts and mobilising of workers to and from mine sites, said she was a mining industry "slave".
"I'm not used to wearing high heels and working in an office. I like the heavy duty stuff," Ms Pena said.
The Penas have three teenage children and believed Mount Isa would be a great place to live.
"Mount Isa has good facilities and good schools. It's a good place," Mr Pena said.
If successful, they plan to move from Jabiru, a mining town set to be closed by 2021.
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