Exploration Manager

An Exploration Manager would lead and operate the mining company’s exploration function in order to discover mineral resource deposits. They would also be responsible for evaluating exploration opportunities and their value, and rely on their expertise to ensure compliance with regulations.

Typical Duties

  • Plan and direct the company’s exploration activities
  • Ensure that the exploration goals are achieved on time and within budget
  • Identify exploration opportunities
  • Prepare and oversee operational budgets to evaluate the economic, and environmental efficiency and feasibility of the mineral extraction process
  • Oversee and manage a team involved in identifying and assessing the location, quantity and quality of mineral deposits in the earth
  • Oversee and manage the mapping of locations where the mineral deposits would be located
  • Manage and oversee geologists and drilling operations in order to collect samples
  • Assessing extraction risks
  • Prepare technical reports for use by mining, engineering and management personnel
  • Overseeing and devising solutions around issues related to land reclamation and water and air pollution

Working Conditions

  • Exploration Managers will work in offices for some of their time, but will be required to travel to mine sites and remote sites on a regular basis
  • Exploration Managers often spend long periods of time away from home
  • Exploration Managers must be prepared to travel and will often stay away from home for extended periods. They may be required to live on site away from home, or to work on a fly in fly out basis. FIFO commonly involves flying in for a certain period of time whilst the Exploration Manager would be on site, and then flying home for periods when they are off work
  • Exploration Managers will often get to see the world as if working for large international companies, their job may involve international travel

Educational Requirements

  • Whilst many schools do not offer dedicated geology courses, subjects such as Earth Science or Environmental Science are offered and would be good choices for those interested in a career in Geology
  • Additional subjects such as biology, chemistry, computers and physics would be advantageous
  • A degree in Geology is the minimum requirement for entry, although many regions and employers will expect a relevant post graduate qualification such as a masters or doctoral degree in Geology when employing an Exploration Manager
  • Should you be interested in a Research or Academic position, it will require a doctorate or master’s degree
  • Management courses or training are often also a prerequisite
  • Specialised onsite training is often required

Personal Attributes

  • Have an interest in chemistry, maths and physics
  • Have an interest in the environment and earth sciences
  • Have leadership skills and be able to manage people
  • Need to be familiar with data, mapping and modelling software, GIS remote sensing equipment etc.
  • Be able to analyse numerical and graphical data
  • Identify, analyse and solve problems
  • Be able to embrace new techniques and technologies, and be interested in keeping up to date on industry requirements and advancements
  • Be able to work under pressure
  • Have a good work ethic and be goal oriented
  • Have an ability to work with and manager
  • multidisciplinary teams of engineers and scientists
  • Must be interested in working in remote locations and on mites sites


  • Geologists in mining typically command good salaries and Exploration Managers are no exception
  • Exploration Managers across the board are renowned to earn high salaries, and for those in a management position the salaries are often extremely lucrative
  • They spend many years studying, work hard and often have to make sacrifices in times of time spent away from their families, and for this reason it’s important that they are adequately compensated


  • Find out more about salaries here.

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