Recruiters prospecting for mining talent

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Digging around for work in corporate finance? If you are, then Australia's booming mining and resources sector may hold the answer as demand for specialist expertise continues to rise.

The increase in mergers and acquisitions activity in the mining sector in particular is driving recruitment activity among investment banks, with expectations that 2007 will be another hectic year of consolidation among listed and unlisted gold miners.

"Given the huge level of activity across the mining sector, investment banks seeking to fill senior corporate finance roles are looking favourably on people who have experience in mining-sector transactions," says a consultant at a niche recruitment firm in the mining hotspot of Western Australia. "There is a huge amount of investment and mergers and acquisitions activity under way, so those with the right experience can command very good packages."

Familiarity with financial instruments is also an advantage, with one investment bank recently recruiting for a position to market a range of debt products in the integrated energy, oil and gas, power and utilities sectors.

The role included negotiating structures and executing new and restructured debt transactions. Finding suitably experienced people remains the biggest problem for recruiters.

John Coles of Coles Christie Associates says there's a shortage of skilled talent across the mining sector overall.

"Research analysts are at a premium at the moment," he says. "Anyone with experience in the mining sector is in demand. I've been trying to find mining analysts for years with some clients - recruiters just basically give up in the end. They can't find the right quality people with experience and analytic ability."

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