Careers in Mining

Bohan Wang

Bohan Wang

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Engineer in Training I, MTS Department
Vale

I got the inspiration of taking engineering as my field from my father, who was a civil engineer in China. My family moved to Canada about ten years ago, and after that, I fell in love with this beautiful land with lots of natural resources, especially minerals. Therefore, I chose mining engineering as my area of study. My passion for mining came from the unique experience I had when doing projects in underground mines. That’s why I love mining so much, and it also motivated me to continue pursuing a master’s degree.

I love to have challenges in my life, and that’s exactly what my job and this mining field can provide me. It involves problem-solving in my daily routine, and I love the feeling when I overcome challenges in my job. I am also a person who enjoys learning throughout my life, and there are always so many things I can learn in mining. I have just started my current position as a mining engineer in training at Vale, and I didn’t have engineering experience before. Therefore, I have learned so much from my colleagues and peers within my work. Another thing I love what I am doing is that my job involves both individual and teamwork, such that there is collaboration, and at the same time, I have the opportunity to work on my own and contribute to my team. I am so grateful that I am doing something I love as my career.

There is a variety of career paths in the mining industry. Besides mining engineering, there are opportunities for so many disciplines, including chemical, mechanical, metallurgy, geology, mining technologist, accounting, business, human resources, and so many others. There are many opportunities for developing and advance in your career path in the mining industry. There are also protentional travel and relocation opportunities since mining is all over the world. Besides, it is also well known that the mining industry provides high compensation.

B.Eng in Mining Engineering, M.Eng
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Nicole Januszczak

Nicole Januszczak

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Practice Lead Mineral Systems
BHP

I have a career in the mining industry thanks to a field course that I took as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto. I realized that I learned more in a week in the field then I did over the course of an entire semester in class. Learning in a natural laboratory while being active and outdoors was a perfect fit for me!

A career in mining has made me realize the value that we as an industry bring to the countries and communities in which we operate. We help raise people out of poverty and improve the standard of living. We contribute the building blocks of our society with the raw materials for the items that we rely on every single day. We are the foundation of a sustainable future. Bringing people and resources together to build a better world inspires me.

My job is focused on understanding how ore deposits form so we can better predict where to find them. I imagine that it is a bit like detective work; teasing out clues to figure out when ore deposits formed in a certain spot and why. Successful exploration going forward will require that we predict the location of economic deposits undercover and to do that we need an understanding of the entire Earth system and how it operates. This requires brand new thinking and the generation of new concepts and innovative new tools. It’s a very challenging and exciting space!

I have the fortune of working with an incredibly knowledgeable, passionate and dedicated team of individuals. We challenge and support each other. I also engage with groups in academia and industry who are working on innovative new ideas, datasets and tools. A career in mining is very dynamic and I am constantly being encouraged to try new things and push boundaries. There are so many different aspects of the business and therefore innumerable opportunities to make a big impact. 

Master's Degree (M.Sc.) in Geology, Doctoral Degree (PhD) in Geology, P.Geo
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Hugh Kruzel

Hugh Kruzel

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Community Liaison
NORCAT

Mining is a primary activity; it is one of the key things we do here in Northern Ontario. Metals are fundamental to everything, but think broader to the supply and services side too. Innovation today in this industry has opened up so many new possibilities; not just efficiencies, environmentally safer practices and cost savings, but improved safety. The acceleration of technological change means integration of many other disciplines previously unimagined. For a student it opens up so many horizons here and globally.

I had a background in teaching all ages and then earned a University of Victoria certification in Adult and Continuing Education. Many of my graduating cohort work in provincial safety organizations, for industry, and in legislative bodies. I had done radio, television, and narrated a few one-off projects. When I returned to Sudbury I soon was narrating on-line mining safety training. I don’t just say words, but inject them with impact and influence so you rapidly recall potential dangers and act in a way that does not imperil yourself, your co-workers, or even process. I am in workers’ heads as they use machines, lockout and tag-out to do repairs, or climb a ladder. The words I say hopefully cause them to pause, remember, assess, evaluate, and choose to use 3 points of contact, or keep clear of pinch points. If we help a worker avoid an accident (or even a near-miss) then we have done our job.

Just as there are cycles, there is also a permanence in this industry. Your skill set is portable and applicable to many roles across an organization or more widely.

 

It has been a fun career. Going to mills to photograph forklifts, doing video of heavy equipment, or a mile deep to document how to operate a jumbo drill system, have been as much a part of my job at NORCAT as greeting visitors from around the world or encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation in mining.

Bachelor of Arts, B.A. (Hons.), Cert. Ecology, B.Ed, CACE, Schulich/Kellogg MC (Project Mgmt)
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Bruno Lalonde

Bruno Lalonde

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President
NSS Canada

The mining industry is the most dynamic, exciting and technologically innovative industries in the world! In mining, you will always be connected to an exceptional network of experts across many fields from exploration to reclamation, whether it is in your hometown or overseas. The longer you are in the mining industry the tighter knit the relationships become with the people. Being able to collaborate and solve challenges together is one of the most rewarding experiences. Mining offers many challenges underground, however as technology evolves, making our industry safer and more productive, it becomes even more attractive to a variety of specialized fields. The Digital Age of Mining is upon us!

I have been in the mining industry for 15+ years and besides my family there is no other space I’d rather spend my time. I am proud to be the President of NSS Canada and lead a team of driven individuals providing the best engineering measurement systems and mining survey solutions. The constant need for change and innovation in the mining industry keeps me intrigued, adaptable and always striving for more. The employers, projects, connections, and mentors I have made in my career path have shaped me into the individual I am today. Without mining who knows where I would be.

My top five benefits to a career in mining are as follows:

1) Professional Growth – If you are driven there is no limitation. Find a mentor early and hang on!

2) Technology – Mining is the most adaptive to technology than it has ever been. No idea is a bad idea. Pursue your ideas and learn from the best!

3) Connections – The professionals you meet and work with along the way become your community.

4) Global Impact – Mining allows you to push for real change in the world, from an economic standpoint to climate change.

5) Compensation – Mining allows for one of the highest compensations across all industries – Financially and Professionally!

Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Commerce, Certificate in Mining and Mining Technician
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Troy Williams

Troy Williams

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Vice President of Software Development
iRing Inc.

I am a professional mining engineer (P.Eng.) with 20 years of experience. I work for a company called iRing Inc. in North Bay, Ontario. Our software helps underground drilling and blasting engineers (a specialty of mining engineering) design better blasts underground. www.iring.ca

 

It was never my plan to enter the mining industry when I graduated high school. My only goal was to take engineering. I was good at math and science and wanted to continue studying math and science. I knew engineering was the only path for me.

 

Engineering is such a broad field. I wasn’t quite sure what discipline to study or where to study it. I grew up in a small town about an hour east of Sudbury. I wanted to stay and learn in the North. I attended Laurentian to study mechanical engineering. At the time, it was a 2-year program at Laurentian, with the final 2 years completed at another university. By the end of the first year, I was enjoying my time in Sudbury and at Laurentian. I decided to switch to mining engineering and stay in Sudbury. With 20 years of experience, looking back, I realize how fortunate and fateful my decision to transfer to mining engineering was. It was the correct decision for me.

I know it is cliched, but everyday is a new challenge, and there is something new or exciting to learn! I never dreamed as an undergraduate that I would be involved in cutting-edge work and research like this. I never thought that I would be involved in work that would potentially affect a lot of people, technical and highly trained people.

 

My work has allowed me to travel to all continents (except Antarctica) and visit every major mining district globally. I work with fantastic like-minded people that share a passion for the tools we create.

I discovered my passion for software and writing programs at Laurentian. I realized that the computer could do the calculations in my course work much faster, and more importantly, more accurately than I could. I just had to instruct the computer on what to do. So, I started down the path of learning to program on my own.

Programming is generally part of the curriculum for mining engineering. It is usually one course in a programming language that isn’t suitable for the type of work we do regularly. This doesn’t appear to have changed. Most graduates have little to no experience coding. Taking mining engineering at Laurentian and learning how to program (I was self-taught) has opened up a world of opportunities for me.

 

There is no shortage of problems or innovation in mining. Mining is moving very quickly into the future, surpassing traditional “high-tech” industries. With the adoption of battery-powered vehicles underground and “Big Data,” mining is very much a high-tech industry! It requires and encompasses many different disciplines, both traditional and non-traditional. They include: Engineers, Geologists, Computer Scientists, Biologists and many other fields.

Bachelor of Mining Engineering
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Baileigh Sirman

Baileigh Sirman

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Mining EIT (Engineer in Training)
BBA Consulting

I was born in Thompson, Manitoba and although I was surrounded by mining, I had no idea what it entailed, its sort of a closed-door industry. Initially, I wanted to be a Conservation Officer because I loved the outdoors and had spent my summers outside at Paint Lake Provincial Park as a teenager. Attending a University Prep school created a stigma which emphasized university education over college and that influenced my decision to attend university and take environmental science over the conservation programs. However, I quickly realized a science degree wasn’t what I wanted, I met with the Engineering Dean at the time and he suggested I try mining. Finally, I had found something I loved!

I love my job for a variety of reasons. Consulting allows me the opportunity to experience different mine sites, it allows for travel, exposure to different mining methods and cultures. BBA has allowed me to really excel in areas I have a passion for and supporting me along with the activities I enjoy. I have had the honour to present a technical paper at the CIM Conference, a major national mining conference that brings the world of mining to Canada. I have a mining career “blog” Instagram - @amininggirl where I document all the different adventures mining has brought me on. www.amininggirl.com I want to share how exciting the mining industry is with others. I volunteer my time with a few different mining and science initiatives (such as WISE and MECA to name a few). I also run the BBA social committee and we have a little family. Although, these aren’t necessarily technical roles, I think they are just as important. The technical component of mining is challenging and exhilarating at times. Operations and consulting although different, both have their own benefits. Love both!

So many benefits to a career in mining: monetary, community, technical, travel, worldwide opportunity (literally mines everywhere around the world), endless job opportunities and career change/promotion within the same industry. Personally, I am motivated by the excitement of operations. I still get excited to go underground or to the open pit and the local community which is built around mines. I have also met some of my best friends in mining!

Bachelor of Engineering – Mining
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Lyne Thompson

Lyne Thompson

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Environmental Superintendent
Wallbridge Mining Company Ltd.

I grew up in Sudbury and like many from here, I come from a family of miners. I had an interest in geography and earth sciences that lead me to complete a degree in Environmental Earth Science at Laurentian University. It was during my second year that I accepted an environmental summer student position with Teck Resources Ltd. at one of their coal mines in northern British Columbia. It was quite exciting for me at the time as I had never left Sudbury.  After graduating and spending three summers with Teck, my career took me on many adventures across the country where I got to work for various mining and consulting companies such as Syncrude, Vale, Areva (now Orano), Hatch, KCB and now Wallbridge Mining. Although, my field of study was environmental science, I was able to learn different skills from each project such as environmental monitoring, permitting, project management, community engagement, contract administration, water treatment operations, and mine closure just to name a few.

My current role at Wallbridge Mining, a junior mining company, allows me to put in practice all the skills that I have learned from my previous experience. I get to work within a great interdisciplinary team to move a new project forward, which is exciting!  As our main project is in Québec, I am also grateful to practice a lot of my work in French. I love the variety that my job provides me! My day could be spent sitting with Indigenous Elders and learning about their culture, learning about the latest water treatment technology, meeting with government officials, writing permit application documents, reviewing lab results, or working with our engineers in finding solutions to advance the project.

There is such a wide range of disciplines to work in when choosing a career in mining (such as engineer, geologist, scientist, miner etc.) and within the same discipline, you can choose to work in the field, operations, projects, health and safety or community engagement! With such a wide variety of choices, a career in mining allows you to choose what works best for your lifestyle. You can choose to travel the world or live near operations. Mining has allowed me to grow professionally through the various challenging opportunities that I have accepted across Canada throughout my career. I have not only worked with some of the best experts in the industry, but I have also made some great friends along the way!

Environmental Earth Science B.Sc.
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Charles Chamirai Nyabeze

Charles Chamirai Nyabeze

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Vice President of Business Development and Commercialization
Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation

My career in mining started with me being a curious young man. From an early age, I developed an interest in how things work. I grew to realize that pretty much everything made by people on earth depends on mining, mining is the cornerstone of all other industries. Almost all the infrastructure around us is derived from mining.



Mining is a complex system of systems and has been liked to a multi-level chess game being played by many people at the same time. I decided on a mining career in 2012, twelve years after I had graduated with a MBA (2000) and a degree in Mining Engineering (1998). My reason for being in mining today is a realization of the linkage between mining, the standard of living, low carbon economy, climate change and the reduction of things like energy consumption, GHG emissions and mining’s overall environmental footprint. The future sustainable mining industry is critical to meet the metal and mineral demands of the planets growing population.

Mining matters to every single human being on earth. Mining is the key catalyst to build sustainable communities. Not a single community on earth today exists without the infrastructure enabled by the minerals and metals from mining. I work in the world of innovation and I love being knowledgeable of bleeding age technologies and sharing them with the world. I am excited at the prospect of working with innovators from other sectors that want to bring their solutions into the global mining sector. As an avid “Innovation Scout” I am excited at the developments in cross-sectoral learning and knowledge transfer platforms that are aimed at bringing the full force of the Canadian innovation ecosystem to address mining challenges. I love matchmaking innovation and challenges “Innovation-Match”.  I run the commercialization division at CEMI which is all about matchmaking innovators to end-users.

According to the labour market information from the Mining Industry Human Resource Council (MIHR), the mining industry offers over 120 different types of jobs that cover all disciplines of work.  This means there is literally a place for everyone in mining. Mining takes place in every country on earth and offers the possibility of travelling and experiencing many cultures. It would be a safe bet to say that people in the mining industry are amongst the most well-travelled and most globally connected people on the planet. If you follow my twitter feed via @charlesnyabeze or follow my LinkedIn postings, you will quickly realize that I am a mining innovation promoter.

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