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BIBO Mining Jobs - A Lifestyle Choice


More than a travel arrangement, BIBO (Bus In Bus Out) is becoming a way of life for many mining employees. In the past, mining companies built mining towns to house workers for the duration of long-term mining projects. These days, temporary camps and mining villages are built closer to mine sites. This reduces start up costs, fast-tracks the setup process and makes short-term mining projects financially viable. Given the typically remote location of mine sites, workers must commute - that is BIBO - to the camps in order to work.

BIBO As a Way of Life

Also known as DIDO (Drive In Drive Out), BIBO jobs allow mine workers to choose residential living in a nearby town, commuting to work by bus or car on a roster basis. The BIBO way of life is characterised by:
  • A home away from home. Staff live in a range of accommodation on mine site camps. Accomodation varies based on a range of factors such as size of camp, age of camp, and duration of camp. Camp living is a  “home away from home” for BIBO employees.  Accomodation is wel- equipped with modern amenities. Most mining companies provide camp leisure facilities to keep staff comfortable, including a gymnasium and perhaps a pool and tavern (‘wet mess’).
  • Flexible working rosters. Workers can usually negotiate rosters to suit their family and lifestyle. The 6/4 (6 days on 4 days off) roster is a popular family-friendly roster, as is the 9/5/ roster.
  • 84 hour working weeks. While working on site, BIBO staff are expected to work 12 hour days, 7 days per week. Although newcomers to BIBO jobs often struggle through the long weeks, they reap the benefits of maximising income earned while on site.
  • Extended R&R. Extended Rest and Relaxation (R&R) periods allow sufficient recuperation before a new roster begins. BIBO workers often enjoy many days off in a row to spend quality time with friends and family, take a holiday or pursue hobbies.

BIBO vs FIFO

The BIBO way of life is very similar to Fly In Fly Out (FIFO). The key differences are as follows:
  • Rosters. BIBO rosters are typically shorter than FIFO rosters. Depending on the driving distance, BIBO workers may have rosters as short as two days on, two days off. FIFO rosters, on the other hand, may be longer. Due to the cost of flying workers to and from the mine site, mining companies prefer as few commutes as possible. Fewer commutes necessitates longer FIFO rosters; for example, month on, month off.
  • Home base. Ideally, BIBO workers live within a day’s drive of the mine, whereas FIFO workers can live anywhere they choose. FIFO workers often choose to live interstate and may even live internationally.

Both job arrangements receive travel allowances. Some mining companies will organise buses to transport workers to the mine en masse. Other companies will stipulate workers organise their own transport to the mine.

How to Find BIBO Jobs

BIBO jobs are advertised on job boards all over Australia. When searching online job listings, be sure to include “DIDO” and “FIFO” in your search terms to return a full list of potential BIBO jobs.

You stand a better chance of securing a BIBO job when you live within a day’s drive of your preferred mine site. Mining companies often hold on-site interview days. If you are committed to landing a BIBO job, try to attend as many interview days as possible, even if you must travel to the mine at your own expense.

Is BIBO for You?

Depending on your personal circumstances, BIBO offers excellent lifestyle advantages. Mining jobs pay high hourly rates and you’ll be working 12 hours per day while on site. The obvious advantage is you can earn large amounts of income in a relatively short time.

Aside from the financial benefits, many people see shift work and rosters as a great advantage, preferring extended R&R periods over a typical 2 day weekend.

If you’re thinking of applying for a BIBO job in mining, our advice is to negotiate a roster that suits your lifestyle and family needs. Finding the right balance is essential to long term happiness in a BIBO job position. With the right remuneration and a good roster, it may even become your preferred way of life.

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Visit our Construction Lifestyle Guide for more articles about employment in the construction sector.
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