Suzanne Halet

Manager in Mines and Minerals Division

Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines

Why a career in mining?

I come from a family who has been immersed in this industry. Prospectors, developers, engineers and geologists. My great grandfather, J.P. Norrie was an engineer, but also a prospector and developer who took projects “from cloddy earth to glittering gold”. He discovered and opened mines in the Abitibi region of northwestern Quebec, including Perron, East Malartic and Malartic Goldfields. A favourite J.P. quote that I like to refer to is: “if you wait for the green light, you’ve waited too long”. When I was young, I remember my dad going away for a few weeks every summer to prospect and stake mining claims. I would ask him where he was going, but he would never tell me! He knew that another kid in my class had a father who was a prospector, and they competed with one another. The mystery and intrigue of mineral development has followed me throughout my career. My first job in this industry was as a summer student/field assistant with the Ontario Geological Survey in 2004 as part of the Lake Nipigon Geoscience Initiative. I spent the summer going on remote adventures with knowledgeable and experienced geologists. From there, I was hooked on exploration. Maybe it’s in the blood? 16 years later, a winding road of education and experience brought me to where I am today. I get to work with a team who conducts analysis and provides insight on Ontario’s mineral sector. We advocate and assist in the development of initiatives and policies that create an improved climate for investment in our province. My unit is also responsible for the coordination of the Mines and Mineral’s division’s promotional activities (such as Ontario’s presence at the PDAC).

Why do I love my job?

It’s very fast paced and dynamic. No two days are the same. I have to keep my finger on the pulse of the sector every day. As soon as I wake up, I’m checking the news to get ahead of any potential requests that may come to my team. There is an economist, statistician, analyst as well as promotions staff on my team who are constantly exchanging information and data and the conversations we have are always interesting. It’s great to observe our industry at a macro scale, and it’s definitely a different view from working in a core shack.

Benefits to a career in mining:

It’s a cornerstone industry in Northern Ontario, a place where those who love the outdoors can thrive. Living and working in Sudbury provides an excellent balance. We have excellent cross-country ski trails in the middle of the city, and the lakes are great for swimming. Sudbury is a great example of the phenomenal changes we have seen in our industry, over time. I have worked as a regulator and have seen first hand the extremely innovative science and technology driving change in our industry. The exploration and mining techniques of the 21st century are truly fascinating.