MORE foreign workers are expected to service Australian resources projects within the next few years as major companies look to save on labour costs.
The Australian mining industry is gearing up to use "pit stop" crews of temporary workers to maintain and service major operations in the nation's north-west.
While teams of overseas workers are already servicing offshore oil and gas facilities, Karsten Gustera, the strategy and developments director of mining services group Logicamms, says many large remote onshore mining operations could soon be maintained by temporary crews rather than a permanent workforce.
"I think in a couple of years time, probably on a five-year horizon, we're probably going to see pit stop maintenance crews coming from overseas to maintain these mine facilities because it's going to be too expensive to get Australian labour," Mr Gustera said.
Logicamms organises operational and regulatory work with high profile resources companies such as Rio Tinto and Chevron.
Mr Gustera said the hydrocarbon sector was already talking about using pit stop maintenance crews of overseas workers as cost pressures on labour forced proponents of bigger projects to look offshore.
And some big mining projects were already delivering projects using overseas labour.
"They're disguised as specialists, but in reality they're basically doing the maintenance activities."