What it does: Mining, development and exploration
Staff stats: Over 400
The good bits: Camaraderie at remote work sites
The not so good bits: The remoteness of remote work sites
The Independence Group story
Independence Group NL (IGO), a West Australian exploration and mining company, was founded and listed on the ASX in 2001. An exodus of mining companies around the turn of the (pre-mining boom) Millennium meant IGO was able to snap up proprietary databases, geo-scientists and ground space. Since 2002, IGO has discovered, acquired and/or developed several successful mines including the Tropicana Gold Mine, Jaguar Operation and Long Operation.
IGO has grown by pursuing projects that have scale, high margins and long-term earning potential (through further exploration). Recently, it completed its acquisition of the Nova Project; extended the life of the Tropicana Gold Mine and it achieved positive cash flow at its 100 percent-owned Jaguar and Long mines.
IGO is now a diversified mining, development and exploration company that produces gold, nickel, copper, zinc and silver at mines across WA. In 2016 its annual revenue was $417 million.
IGO is an equal opportunity employer with strong policies in place to prevent discrimination, harassment, vilification and victimisation. The organisation has increased its female workforce participation rate to above 20 per cent in recent years. It has also implemented an Aboriginal Employment and Business Standard, which aims to increase the number of Indigenous Australians the company employs.
IGO annually audits its remuneration and reward system to ensure gender pay parity and to recognise and reward high performance. The company is committed to eliminating gender bias concerning decisions regarding senior executive and board roles. The company also provides a support and resolution forum for employees affected by workplace bullying and harassment.
IGO funds charities and not-for-profits that support the education, health and wellbeing of disadvantaged children in its host communities. In also supports organisations that enhance, protect or repair its host communities’ local environments.
IGO matches dollar-for-dollar any money employees raise for the company’s approved beneficiaries. Staff are also given up to two days of paid leave to volunteer at organisations approved by the IGO Corporate Giving Committee.
IGO’s operations inevitably have an environmental impact. But IGO values responsible environmental management, seeks continual improvement of its environmental performance and aspires to effective environmental stewardship.
The recruitment process
While IGO doesn’t appear to use its internship program as a recruitment tool, you may wish to do the three-month-long ‘IGO Vacation Program’, which is run over the summer break, if you’re interested in working for the company. To be considered, you need to send an application to email@example.com by April 30.
To join IGO on a full-time basis, you’ll need a legal right to work in Australia. The head office is situated in Perth and the company’s mining sites are dotted around WA. That means you’ll need to be prepared to work interstate if you don’t live in WA and probably work on a fly-in-fly-out basis if you do.
IGO seeks graduates from a range of disciplines including commerce, environmental science, geology, geosciences, mining, metallurgy and OHS. The company seeks out graduates who can demonstrate good communication skills, teamwork, initiative, enterprise and a strong work ethic.
All IGO job applicants participate in a multi-stage online recruitment process. If you’re seeking a grad program position, you begin the process by submitting your CV, cover letter and academic transcript to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30. (Make sure to state your area of study in the email’s subject line.)
If you’re shortlisted, you’ll be invited for a first-round interview. If that goes well, you’ll probably do a second-round interview with either an area manager or a site-based manager. You may also have to visit an IGO mine to do a site-based interview. The final stage is an exhaustive series of pre-employment checks. This includes reference checks, providing a police clearance and passing a medical test (which will measure your hearing, spirometry and any recent drug and alcohol consumption). You’ll also need to provide copies of your qualifications.
IGO’s two-year grad program entails “rotational job experiences at IGO’s various sites, mentoring, professional networking, career management and tailored learning and development activities”. You’ll also receive discipline-specific learning and development experiences. All IGO employees need to obtain a Senior First Aid certificate prior to working on site and some will need job-specific certificates for ‘Working at Heights’ or in ‘Confined Space’. You’ll receive the necessary training to qualify for these certificates.
IGO endeavours to offer competitive salaries. It benchmarks its salaries internally and externally, monitors market conditions and participates in several mining industry remuneration databases. As a graduate at IGO, you’ll be entitled to insurance and healthcare discounts, study assistance and salary sacrifice options on air travel to Perth, computers and novated leases.
IGO encourages staff to pursue further study and offers study assistance for approved courses. The company also aims to promote from within wherever possible. Secondments and accelerated leadership and networking opportunities are also offered.
The vibe of the place
Senior staff members will make you feel a welcome member of the IGO team. The flat structure means you’ll know senior managers by name, collaborate with future leaders and work with the industry’s best people. Many employees have become part of the Kambalda and Kalgoorlie communities. Others have embraced the fly-in, fly-out lifestyle.
IGO boasts it is “a proud Australian resources company that is small enough to offer close-knit teams but large enough to provide employees with the opportunities that they need to build a successful career or the tools to start out on that journey”.
From the Employer:
"Choosing to start your career with IGO means joining a proudly Australian company that is large enough to provide you with the opportunities you need to make an impact but small enough to provide the support and care you’ll love.
Founded and listed on the ASX in 2001, IGO is an Australian mining company unlike any other. Since 2002 we have grown to be a diversified mining, development and exploration Company producing gold, nickel and copper, zinc and silver from our mining operations in Western Australia which include:
- gold from our 30% interest in the Tropicana Gold Mine (AngloGold Ashanti 70% and manager) in Western Australia;
- nickel from our 100% owned Long Operation in Kambalda in Western Australia;
- nickel and copper from our 100% owned world class, Nova Project 130km east of Norseman in Western Australia; and
- copper, zinc and silver from our 100% owned Jaguar Operation 60km north of Leonora in Western Australia.
Our team includes over 400 employees and many other contractors and community members that have continued the journey since our initial public offering and small beginnings. Our combination of exploration, operations and strong business development model provides Graduates with cross functional opportunities that single commodity miners and exploration companies cannot offer.
Like other companies, our Graduate Program features rotational job experiences at our various sites, mentoring, professional networking, career management and tailored learning and development activities. And each year we seek Graduates from a range of disciplines including Geology and Geosciences, Mining, Surveying, Metallurgy, Commerce, Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Science.
Our point of difference? The connections that our Graduates will make across the entire Company, from our CEO and Board, to the people they work with across the entire mining and business cycle.
Our Graduates assume real roles, with real on-the-job responsibilities, as well as opportunities to investigate and solve real business challenges. Graduates are provided with discipline specific learning and development along with accelerated leadership and networking opportunities. Our Graduates are challenged to extend themselves and work in roles that will provide a breadth and depth of learning that is supported by our highly skilled and professional team to carve their own unique path for their future in the resources and other sectors.
In mastering the skills and experience needed to create their own path our Graduates help us to continue to create ours and we are very proud of our growing Graduate alumni who choose to stay with us at the end of the program and play integral roles in shaping our future."