Careers in Mining

Lindsay Robertson

Lindsay Robertson

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Associate, Environment Manager
Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd.

I started out at university in a degree in environmental science, majoring in environmental chemistry. Throughout most of my undergrad I thought I would head into a career in agriculture, but my path changed in my fourth year. I took a job in the soils lab and at that time my professor was working on the Sudbury Area Risk Assessment (SARA) soils study. That sparked my interest and curiosity in looking at mining related impacts on soils. I moved back to Sudbury to complete my Master’s at Laurentian University (M.Sc.), and applied my knowledge in a consulting role after I graduated. The more I worked on projects related to the mining industry, the more I could see the potential to apply what I had studied to improving environmental management at mine sites, thus reducing the environment footprint. After 4 years of professional work experience and meeting the criteria, I successfully became a registered Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.).

The environmental aspects of mining is still a relatively “young” field of study, and as an industry we are still learning and exploring ways to improve how we do things. I like being able to see the impact my job has on the remediation of existing mines and working to improve the environmental impact of new mines. Every day is different and being able to work on different types of project with experts in the industry, in different parts of the world keeps me engaged and constantly learning. As the mining industry evolves and advances, I have had the opportunity to work with universities on applied research related to the environmental impact of mines. I love that my role has been able to evolve and adapt along with this dynamic and innovative industry.

There is a great balance in the mining industry of the new and the familiar. You are able to learn skills that apply fairly consistently to a wide range of mining projects, but the industry also gives you a chance to tackle different challenges because in the end, no two projects are alike! It takes many disciplines coming together as a team to work in mining, and you learn more about your own discipline by working with others on how everything fits together.

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Suzanne Halet

Suzanne Halet

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Manager in Mines and Minerals Division
Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines

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).

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.

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.

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Jahanzeb Sohail

Jahanzeb Sohail

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Electrical Engineer in Training (EIT) – Product Development
Maestro Digital Mine

My career in mining was developed thanks to opportunities in Sudbury. Being a fresh

graduate and seeking a dynamic industry to apply my skills, mining was where I choose to start my career after talking to a few friends. They love the work they do, the people they've met and the technologies they see coming into the mining sector; all of which excited me for new opportunities to seek in such an industry. Being an electrical engineering graduate from Western University, I was interested in seeing what I could bring to this major industry that has its branches all over the world. Figuring out the nuances in mining took me a while, but once you see the big picture, you truly see the beauty and innovations behind all the infrastructure, processes and products & services. Everything around us from our modern world is mined from minerals, without which we would be stuck in the stone age!

My job focuses on air quality and the safety of miners in the work environment. This may sound simple, but requires an intricate solution to ensure workers remain safe while on-site and underground. Realizing the importance of my role motivates me to ensure the environments are safer, cleaner and more energy-efficient with the help of technology. As mining is an industry that has been around for a while, there are a lot of opportunities to apply new-age dynamic solutions to existing problems. The continuous innovation is an aspect of the job I love as it exposes me to new technologies created by extremely talented individuals. Another reason I love my job is because of the community and the brilliant individuals you get to meet and interact with over time.

  • Trains you to think critically and dynamically towards innovative solutions
  • A well paying industry with a lot of opportunities to grow your skills
  • Exposure to extremely talented individuals and growing companies
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Dave Rector

Dave Rector

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Co-Owner & President
Rector Machine Works Ltd

We didn’t start out in Mining… our company established by my Grandmother and Grandfather in 1933 started as a supply business to the Steel industry and progressed to the Wood and Forest industry as they went along.  My father (Herv) took over the company in 1967 and continued it on with my mother (Sandi) and here we are today 87 years later with my brother and I being the owners.  We got into mining supply when we diversified the company in the 2000’s to keep our employees working during the downturn in Forestry and Steel.  I personally tend to do research on the companies that we work with and found that I had a real zest for Geology and the mining process.  Rector’s became a member of SAMSSA (now Mine Connect) in the early days and have sat on this volunteer Board of Directors since 2009.  We enjoy the value working together with other members across Northern Ontario to service our customers in a way that keeps people working in the North.

I really do love my job, it really does have an impact when you get to continue a family legacy and work with your family to provide a living for people in the community as well as have the wherewithal to give back to your community and those that you work in.  I love the travel, the people and relationships you make along the way.  Mining has led to working in different environments and is always challenging and motivating. One thing I realized is how much talent and pride our employees have when working with them on job sites away from our facility.  Rector’s really does enjoy working with post secondary institutions to further much needed people in trades and we always look forward to the next diamond in the rough becoming part of our family team.

A career in trades is always sought after by companies like ours, with hard work and determination we can provide an amazing atmosphere to work and make a great living.  Our employees have had the chance to travel all over our great country to work, see amazing things and work with some fantastic people.  You can truly make an enjoyable career in the trades and it can take you anywhere you want to go.  To quote Dr. Suess, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you chose. Oh, the places you will go.”

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Craig Fitchett

Craig Fitchett

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Senior Geologist & Technical Services
Orix Geoscience Inc.

Exploration! I have always been fascinated with the unknown. Traveling to places that few people have ever seen and discovering something new. As an exploration geologist, I have traveled the world and been to many different remote locations. The most rewarding part of being an exploration geologist is seeing the beauty and distinctiveness of rock and the natural environment. 

 

Earth sciences is a unique discipline that draws upon many other fundamental sciences to understand the mechanisms that generate the various rock formations. Unlike other scientific disciplines, the field application of earth science requires a creative artistic ability. Impartial datasets and poorly documented regions are common themes that leave exploration geologist wondering and dreaming of possibilities. It is this artistic application that is exciting, you never know what you might find.

Getting back to basics and understanding the past exploration is important to identify potentially missed opportunities. Compilation, re-evaluate, and follow-up groundwork are a key part of an exploration program. I began in the mineral exploration industry as a student geologist in 2005, spending my summers prospecting, explaining anomalies, and digging up hidden mineralization.

 

My current position allows me to continue to explore and look for new mineralization. I’m interested in understanding the controls on mineralization and generating new targets based on re-interpretation of historical data. I have spent the majority of my career leading teams in both the field and office, developing new exploration targets, working on property acquisitions, managing large drilling programs, and mapping programs. However, my passion has always been executing remote prospecting programs to develop new opportunities based on re-interpreting historical data.

 

There is something about designing and executing a wild mission into remote locations that is exciting. It is the possibility of being the person who discovered the missing piece that leads to a new mine (ore body).

Endless possibilities! With a strong understanding of the natural systems and processes, a person can take on various roles. A career in the mining industry provides great opportunities to continue to grow and evolve. Early in my career I took the jobs that allowed me to travel and see new places. Although with changes in my life I have moved into a position that allows me to be home at night with the family. The beauty of mining is that there is room for everyone to develop positions that suite their lifestyles. As the world continues to change and technology further develops, there are so many new exciting career roles and specialities available for those who are ambitious and looking for a challenge.

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Brianna Simeoni

Brianna Simeoni

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Training and Recruitment Coordinator
SCR Mining and Tunnelling

Mining has surrounded me my entire life. Being born and raised in Sudbury with family members working in the mines, I knew the importance of mining to my community. Although my initial focus was not on a career in mining, it was an opportunity at Vale Canada that allowed me to explore the world of mining. Working within the Project Management Office at Totten Mine provided me the opportunity to learn about the advancements in health and safety systems, technologies in development, and the cycle of mining.

 

My career has evolved within mining over the last few years. Initially involved in project management and assisting with the organization of developing projects, I have shifted into the role of Training and Recruitment. This allows me to interact with many people on a daily basis and allows me to explore a new side of mining… the people. Learning the importance of what entices others for taking on a new role, finding the best match for an individual within a crew, or establishing a process/ policy to streamline onboarding systems has been gratifying.

Although I enjoy seeing the success of systems in place and how we can positively impact the mining community with development and operations, I love my job for the people I have been able to work with. I have been incredibly lucky to have worked with insightful individuals with years of experience and knowledge in a variety of fields. It is because of their support and encouragement that I was able to ask questions, further my curiosity about mining, and learn about a wide range of opportunities in the industry.

There are countless benefits within mining! I have experienced this firsthand. I have been able to explore different avenues within the industry that has allowed me to attain a better understanding of the cycle of life within mining. Not only has my knowledge and experience broadened, it has gifted me with the chance to volunteer and plan events to enhance and enforce our bond in the community. As an executive member for Young Mining Professionals Sudbury, I have been able to reach out and meet others within the community to discuss highs and lows of the industry. In helping to plan the inaugural Mining Engagement Conference for Advancement (MECA), I was able to discover the importance of soft-skill development within mining and how we can benefit ourselves and our employers by attaining these skills.

 

The benefits are unlimited in so many ways and I strongly encourage anyone interested in joining the industry to get curious and explore the opportunities.

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Alana Arcand

Alana Arcand

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Mining Sector Marketing Lead
Golder

In pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree, I certainly didn’t imagine that I would end up in the mining industry, and yet here I am! I had always associated mining with STEM streams and it simply never occurred to me that there was a place for creative minds and strategic thinking. Upon graduating, I volunteered abroad in Bolivia to gain experience and benefited from a different perspective on the world. After returning to Sudbury, I landed at Golder, a global mining consulting firm, starting in an entry-level position and after 13 years and counting, I am now the marketing lead for our global mining business. The passion of my colleagues for their work was contagious, and their willingness to share their knowledge with me was all I needed to learn and grow and find my place in the world of mining and science communications. A world that definitely requires creative minds!

What’s not to love? I work with great people, in an employee-owned company, who are as passionate about what they do as I am. Helping communicate the stories of the innovative and impactful work we are producing is extremely rewarding. Whether it’s a specialized niche area or a broader multi-disciplinary approach to the latest mining industry challenge, there’s always something interesting to share with our clients who may be encountering similar challenges that we can help solve together.

 

If you aren’t in mining it seems simple; dig a hole, take out some rock, get metals. However, if you’re in the industry, you know just how far from the truth that is. The intricacy and complexity of operations, years of planning and development, and the sheer number of skill sets required, it is far from simple. That’s exactly why I love it. I love seeing how all the individual facets work together to extract metals that we take for granted in our daily lives. The fun of consulting is that we have so many of those disciplines under one roof. It’s normal to have fish, water, air, rock, waste and infrastructure specialists all working on a project together. 

If variety is the spice of life, then mining has it in spades. Regardless of your role within the industry there are all sorts of forms it can take. You can choose to work for a major operation, an exploration company, work on site, or in an office, for a consultant or contractor, or even the government. It can allow you to stay right here in Northern Ontario, or to travel the world. There are so many options available when you choose a career in mining and there’s nothing stopping you from trying out a few!

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Stacey Roy

Stacey Roy

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Geologist in Training
Vale

I have always had a keen interest in Earth processes and science. After working for many years in the dental field, I decided to return to Laurentian University to complete my B.Sc. degree in geology.   What better place to learn about geology than the Sudbury basin? Sudbury has such a deep and rich history in mining, and world-class geology. The mining and metals industry offers a wide range of career options, both directly and indirectly related to mining itself, including engineering, chemistry, IT, HR, as well as numerous trades. Most people don’t even realize the career possibilities within the mining industry. Mining helps contribute to a strong and prosperous economy. Mining continues to evolve and incorporate new and exciting technologies as well as maintaining a strong focus on environmental sustainability. It is exciting to think I can contribute to that in some way.

I am currently in a Geologist in Training program at Vale. The program spans four years and includes important roles including core logging, in-mine exploration, diamond drilling programs, 3-D modelling, as well as a variety of other opportunities. It’s a very exciting position with the ability to work at multiple plants and gain valuable mentorship from Geologists with years of experience. Every day brings something new and I’m constantly learning. Being able to connect and learn from so many people in different roles within our company is great. One of my favorite sayings is ‘if it’s not grown, its mined’ so in that way we are all connected through mining.

There are so many avenues your career path can take in the mining sector the possibilities are endless. Mining can allow for a career that lets you travel or stay close to home. As a bonus it is an industry that provides very good compensation. As the mining world continues to modernize with a focus on mine digitization, there will be a need for new careers, some we don’t even know we need yet! It’s a very exciting time to be in mining.

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