Underground mine service and support workers (NOC 8411)

About this job

Underground mine service and support workers perform a range of duties related to the operation of orepasses, chutes and conveyor systems.

People in this occupation:

  • are responsible for the construction and support of underground structures, passages and roadways
  • help miners to set up and operate equipment and machinery and track haulage equipment that distributes materials and supplies to support underground mining
  • work for coal, metal and non-metallic mineral mines
  • should be physically fit since work can be labour intensive
  • must be able to work as a team and follow orders and safety regulations
Common job titles
  • assembler, extensible conveyor belt
  • attendant, mine
  • blaster
  • blaster, line crew
  • brusher
  • builder, brattice

Duties

Underground mine service and support workers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • operate and maintain ore chutes or conveyor systems to control flow of ore or coal in underground mine
  • run construction equipment such as a bulldozer, grader or backhoe to build and maintain underground passages and haulageways
  • build and repair wood or metal supports and structures such as bulkheads, platforms, drift doors and chutes using construction and mining tools
  • attach and extend ventilation and water pipes and related mine service
  • help miners to set up and operate various drills and other mining machinery
  • supply and maintain backfill distribution of sand, rock or other materials
  • operate diesel or electric track haulage equipment such as ore trains to distribute personnel and supplies and to convey ore from orepass to primary crusher or skip
  • maintain supply storage areas
  • maintain equipment and supplies such as explosives, drill bits, fire extinguishers, lamps and batteries
  • perform routine maintenance of machinery

Work environment

Underground mine service and support workers work in mines, where it is dark and damp, operating and maintaining ore chutes or conveyor systems and building or repairing underground passages or structures.

Workers may be exposed to potential hazards, including loud noises, potentially harmful chemical substances and large, moving mining equipment. Workplace safety is at the forefront and work sites stick to strict safety regulations, including wearing eye and ear protection, protective clothing with reflective strips, gloves, hard hats and steel toed boots. Safety training and special equipment also aims to minimize risk to workers.

Most people work full time in these occupations. Very few work part time or are self-employed. Rotating shift work is common as mines operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A shift may vary from 8–12 hours, depending on the worker's position and the location of the work. Overtime and weekend work may be required.

As mines are often located in remote areas, underground mine service and support workers may be required to travel and live in camps. Since many B.C. mines are near communities, workers who live nearby can return home after their shift.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

There is good opportunity for individuals in these occupations to move to higher level jobs. With sufficient experience and training, progression to machine operators or supervisors is possible.

Additional resources