Glencore's Ernest Henry Mine discusses its local employment opportunities in Cloncurry

Ernest Henry's chief processing officer Richard Harvey speaks on local employment opportunities during a community information session in Cloncurry. Photo: Chris Burns.
Ernest Henry's chief processing officer Richard Harvey speaks on local employment opportunities during a community information session in Cloncurry. Photo: Chris Burns.

ERNEST Henry Mine’s chief processing officer acknowledged the company had taken a dip in local employment last year.

But Richard Harvey also said that the percentage of Cloncurry employees has improved at the mine in 2017.

Local employment at Ernest Henry Mine was currently at 19 per cent. The North West Star understands that in November, 2016, the local employment percentage was at about 13 per cent. 

An information slide about employment at the community information session.

An information slide about employment at the community information session.

“In 2016 we took a step back,” Mr Harvey said during the recent community information session. “If we can’t fill a role, FIFO becomes a last resort.” 

But within the last year 12 additional Cloncurry locals were employed. Eight leadership roles had relocated to the town as well, Mr Harvey said. 

An Ernest Henry mine manager also encouraged a program which motivated contractors to employ local as well. 

In addition to these figures there was also the Glencore school leavers program, which allowed students to gain up to six months of work experience. It’s a program that started in Mount Isa and extended to Cloncurry.

Information on the employment opportunities Ernest Henry Mine offers.

Information on the employment opportunities Ernest Henry Mine offers.

Mr Harvey said the program did not have huge numbers in Cloncurry. There were two local youth involved in the program. 

“In Mount Isa it’s been a huge success and we would love to see it a success here,” Mr Harvey said. 

“It helps them get into the industry whether they want to work for us, or MMG, or South32.” 

The School Leavers Program also had involved 24 graduates since 2015. 

Glencore would also extend Mount Isa Mines’ graduate and apprenticeship program to Cloncurry this year. “I think there was near 30 participants in Mount Isa last year,” Mr Harvey said. 

“It’s a pretty big program. The theory is locals stay local. 

“We want people in our operations that grew up here...not people that come here, stay three years, and leave.”