"There are hundreds of mine sites that do not and would not [automate] because of the costs involved and they are going to continue on with drivers as they have done in the past."
George Rebeiro from Programmed, a major provider of staff to the mining industry, said after the last mining boom many workers moved into other industries or returned to their home states.
With the return in confidence to the mining sector there is now an immediate requirement for skilled labour.
"It's the perfect storm at the moment. Everything is happening at once," Mr Rebeiro said.
"Production has increased, automation projects are in play, new pits in existing mines are being developed, new mines are maturing."