I started as a Junior Metallurgist for a small mining company developing a gold mine on the Canadian Arctic coast. As a way to break me in to the company, I was sent to the Con Mine in Yellowknife to help with the reclamation there, in mainly water treatment and the removal of arsenic trioxide that was on surface. At the request of my boss, Jim Currie, I began a report on the site’s history and the present cleanup efforts focused around the arsenic trioxide. During this, I discovered that my great-grand father had staked the original claim for the mine during the 1930s. It was awe-inspiring as I was, in effect, cleaning up the mess that he created.
Before the report was completed the second largest gold company in the world, Newmont Mining, ended up purchasing the company just after I returned to Vancouver. Witnessing a 1.46 billion dollar takeover as one of three company engineers was very much a highlight.
Within a week of the official hand off, I was attending all the project meetings in Denver, Colorado and living out of carry-on for 10 days at a time became a monthly thing as the project picked up pace. With my new boss’s support, Graham Karklin, I managed to develop the previously orphaned report on the Con Mine into a presentation to the Colorado’s Section of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME). Shorty thereafter I submitted the paper to the Canadian Mineral Processor’s annual conference in Ottawa where I presented it and had it published. Two years after graduation, I’ve since left Newmont to return to get my Master’s in Mining Engineering at UBC and am working as a document control consultant within the Mining industry.
For some major career highlights, I would have to list them as this: chasing bears in helicopters, swimming above the arctic circle, experiencing 24hrs of daylight (which is certainly interesting at 2am on a Saturday morning), contributing to cleaning up the environment, giving a university lecture and having seen the inner workings of one the largest Canadian mining purchases this decade. Most of all, it’s how lucky I have been in crossing paths with some absolutely amazing people and mentors in mining, it’s been a wild ride so far.