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Mining's brave new world

At something near to A$250,000 (US$175,000) per annum train drivers delivering iron ore from the giant mines of Australia’s remote Pilbara region to various company ports rank among the highest paid on the planet, if indeed not the highest. Whether or not they are worth it remains a topic of keen debate.

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There is no suggestion the role is not an important one, as 40,000t of iron ore is clearly a valuable cargo, but it is hard to argue that the job is especially taxing.