Metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons measured in human samples are often used as biomarkers of exposure to diesel engine exhaust (DEE). The aim of this study was to assess the changes in urinary levels of 1-aminopyrene (1-AP) and 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) and their relationship with Elemental Carbon (EC), as a component of diesel engine exhaust exposure, among a hard-rock gold-mining population. Urine samples were collected at the beginning and end of a 12-hour work shift from 100 underground and above ground gold miners. Miners were fitted with personal exposure monitoring equipment to quantify exposure to DEE, measured as Elemental Carbon (EC), across their 12-hour work shift. General linear regression assessed associations of the post-shift urinary 1-AP and 1-OHP concentrations with EC, controlling for age, gender, the pre-shift biomarker level, Body Mass Index (BMI), days on current shift, time in mining, smoking status and second-hand smoke exposure. The concentrations of 1-AP and 1-OHP increased significantly across a 12-hour mining work shift. Moreover, consistent with the sensitivity analysis, the concentration of 1-AP was significantly associated with EC after adjustments. Urinary 1-OHP, but not 1-AP was significantly associated with current smoking. Urinary 1-AP may be a more robust and specific biomarker of DEE than 1-OHP.