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Michael Claydon
Underground Mining Engineer

Michael Claydon
Underground Mining Engineer

Since moving from Cardiff to Perth as a graduate to chase good weather and better mining opportunities, Michael has gained a deep understanding of the industry as he worked across projects at Olympic Dam, Boston Shaker and recently, Daisy Milano.

As soon as Michael started studying Geology at the Camborne School of Mines in the UK, he knew he’d move to either Australia or Canada. When it came down to it, his decision went in favour of the better weather – and we don’t blame him!

I reached out to Macmahon, started talking with recruitment and shortly after was invited for an interview. In the meeting, I realised what an opportunity it was to get into the company at such an exciting time, as the underground department was expanding. In short, Australia and Macmahon were both no-brainers.”

He first joined the raise drilling division at Olympic Dam, where he quickly realised how much there was for him to learn and grasp.

For Olympic Dam to be the first active mine I worked in was a real eye-opener to the scale of the mining industry, and demonstrated what humans are capable of. I knew then and there I was in the right industry.”

Hungry for more exposure to the rest of the mine, Michael sought out information from the BHP technical team, where a planner talked him through the role of Macmahon at Olympic Dam, and how it fits in with the rest of the mine workings.

Michael moved to Boston Shaker as a Project Engineer at the start of 2020, where he saw exciting new opportunities emerge. He spent 18 months underground working with the crew across a variety of roles, gaining a deeper understanding of what it takes to make a mine work.

“At the time, the nascent mine just had its primary vent rise completed, and over the next three years I would see the mine develop over 200 vertical metres and produce 125kT of ore per month,” he said. “Every milestone the mine hit was exciting.”

Toward the end of his tenure at Boston Shaker, Michael was fortunate enough to cover for the Project Manager for a month. This exposed him to new processes and senior leadership while giving him a better understanding of how the underground team worked with the rest of Tropicana Gold Mine.

With his experience covering for the Project Manager at Boston Shaker leaving a good impression, Michael was recently given an opportunity to move to Daisy Milano while the foreman was on leave. Ever eager to learn and evolve, now Michael’s got his eye on moving to Gwalia, where he’s looking to get into business improvement engineering. Looking even further to his future, Michael is excited for the challenges of becoming a shift boss.

When reflecting on his decision to choose Macmahon for his graduate program, Michael had only positive thoughts. He’s especially thankful to the mentorship he’s received along the way from his Project Managers, as well as the support the company has given him:

The options that are available to graduates are amazing, whether you decide to get into Underground, Surface or Civil, Macmahon has the capability. I personally only want to work underground, but I know that if I want a change, Macmahon can facilitate it.”

“If you’re unsure what path to go down, Macmahon has you covered. They have what most other contractors don’t have – and that’s versatility, providing the complete package of contracting,” he said.

If you’re chasing opportunity, Michael also said to not let being overseas hold you back: “I am fortunate enough to be on a sponsored work visa, and am in the process of securing a Permanent Residency through Macmahon. I’m so grateful for this.”

I can clearly see my professional development with Macmahon. As such, I can’t see myself leaving Australia or the company any time soon. There is a long way to go.

Thank you for sharing your story, Michael! We’re lucky to have you on the team.