Australia’s iron ore industry has hit a slump after decades of boom fuelled by rampant demand from China. This is threatening the livelihoods of thousands of miners and entire communities dependent on these vast opencast mines.
At Perth Airport, just after 05:00 local time, the boarding gate is a sea of fluorescent yellow and blue. This is a regular shuttle service to Fortescue Metals’ Cloudbreak mine – the passengers are fly-in-fly-out workers and they come dressed for the job.
By Ali Moore
Cloudbreak mine, Western Australia