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BHP Billiton Vac Work 2011/12

BHP Billiton Vac Work 2011/12

Over the 2011/12 summer, I undertook vacation work with BHP Billiton at their Cannington Mine in north-west Queensland. It was a great summer - I learnt an incredible amount about underground metaliferous mining and mine geotechnical engineering, while making some great mates and experiencing first-hand what it's like working FIFO (Fly In, Fly Out).

The 8 days on, 6 days off FIFO roster took a bit to adjust to initially - working 12.5hrs/day, 8 days in a row is as demanding as it sounds. Some professionals however, such as investment bankers, work those kind of hours 5/6 days per week, so considering I was getting 6 days off per fortnight, it really is a great deal. But despite the 12.5hr days sounding long, I always still had time for an hour or so of exercise each day - jogging home, using the gym or a casual game of soccer or cricket. Meals (which were excellent) and cleaning were all provided for us too. On our final 6 day break, several of us vaccies at Cannington went up to Airlie Beach which was awesome - checking out the reef, chilling on Hamilton Island, going out to the clubs and jetskiing around the Whitsundays!
Here's a few pics from work:

Me standing next to a Jumbo Drill rig.
Me and some of the other engineers inspecting a development heading.
Overall, it was a great summer. I really can't recommend BHP Billiton more highly as an employer, they really impressed me throughout the application process and program itself - despite being the biggest mining company in the world, I wasn't treated like just a number. Upon finishing my engineering degree, I definitely see BHP Billiton and Cannington as a very strong option for me to return to, possibly after I experience something different again next summer.
Cheers,
Pete
Author thumbnail Peter Stephan Hi, I'm Peter and I'm studying my 3rd year of civil engineering at UQ. I grew up in a country town near Brissy and enjoying the campus life immensely!