Boom and Bust - Rapallo Engineering Perth Kalgoorlie Goldfields

Mining Investment before and after the boom.

The Boom Years

The boom years in Western Australia were great for many engineers and maintenance professionals – high salaries, jobs straight out of university and an employee’s market. Ability to pick and choose employers, jump ship to bigger and better opportunities and a rapid scale up that greasy pole.

If you worked in HR during the boom years, you would have seen it all – greed, entitlement, expectation………….

Then it happened – what was so obvious in hindsight, there was a huge bust. So much so that companies lost their contracts, engineers lost their jobs and many of those engineers that had never known anything but a super indulgent booming economy came down to earth with a thud.

Likely the correction we had to have: salaries couldn’t keep rising, and companies couldn’t keep giving to retain their staff. Something had to give, it gave and to those caught in the cross fires, both employees and business owners felt the pain.

Employees felt the pain because of the fear of job uncertainty or the reality of redundancy.

Employers in the SME space felt the pain of work drying up but money continuing to fly out the door with wages, taxes and overheads.

Late 2012 was the bust – where are we now?

Of course like that quote “hindsight is 20/20”, no one has a crystal ball (Trump? Who’d have thought? ).  However there are those that like to predict where we are in the commodities cycle and when the next boom will be.

Crash and Boom - Rapallo Perth Kalgoorlie Mining

Originally published by Lion Analyst 2016

A quick analysis (thank you google): The Lion Analyst published in August 2016 has the clock at 7pm – apparently meaning the liquidity tap is ON. Positive sentiment generated by gold miners is rubbing off on other sectors of mining, as is clearly evidenced by investors seeking riskier exposures such as smaller companies (Source: Lion Analyst).

The WA Premier called the bottom of the downturn in September 2015. Unsure if we can take his word for it though as he also predicted the boom would go on for 20 years….whoops!

In June 2016, Andrew Forrest said there were clear signs that the mining industry was moving through the worst of the downturn. Measured words but cautiously optimistic.

“Just as, during the super cycle, people imagined prices would go up forever, people imagine the market will never recover. Neither extreme represents the truth. What is true, however, is that our cycle times are lengthening, that means it could take years to adjust to current market forces – but it’s still a cycle,” Philip Hopwood (Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu’s).


Where are we in the cycle? Rapallo’s view.

Here at Rapallo, we can only report on our own experiences, but we are seeing those green shoots in areas such as engineering that have been depressed over the last few years.  As the major players cut more staff to bring down overheads they are moving into that part of the cycle where their in house expertise in maintenance and engineering is being spread too thin. Downturn or no downturn, plant and machinery still needs to be kept safe, operational and compliant to industry regulations. Should the worst happen, neither family nor regulator would accept the excuse that “we just couldn’t afford to fix it”

Rapallo can help your operation by providing experienced engineering and maintenance professionals.

If you are looking to hire labour personnel to perform in your business, chat to the experts in engineering, and maintenance management. Call our Kalgoorlie office on (08) 9021 8399 or drop in for a chat at 10 Broadwood Street, West Kalgoorlie WA 6430

Click this link for more information or email

Looking for engineering and maintenance Jobs in Kalgoorlie, Goldfields, Pilbara and Western Australia?

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We have over 20 years of experience partnering with our clients to attract the best specialist resources, engineering & construction talent. Our Engineers are supported by an experienced practicing management team, environmental and asset management teams as well as robust technical and administrative systems. Over the years, Rapallo has placed project engineers and managers with many of our client organisations, including but not limited to the following:

Jobs, Employment and Career Opportunities Rapallo - Perth Kalgoorlie Goldfields

Do you need an experienced Professional?

  • BHP Billiton
  • Rio Tinto
  • FMG
  • Gold Fields Australasia
  • Iluka Resources
  • Simcoa
  • KCGM
  • Birla Nifty

Our crop of senior engineers is carefully picked for originality, relevance, attention to detail and systems thinking, with a good balance of operational and consulting experience. For our graduate engineers, exposure to an experienced multi-discipline team is an awesome experience that accords them exceptional career advancement opportunities in a relatively short period of time.

We currently have capacity to supply a variety of experienced engineers or project managers at very competitive rates.

  • Civil Engineers
  • Structural Engineers
  • Environmental Scientists / Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Mining Engineers
  • Electrical Engineers
  • Reliability Engineers

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