I was born/grew up in: Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador
I now live in: Thompson, Manitoba
I completed my training/education at: B.Sc. in Earth Sciences, Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
What I do at work
I am a geologist at Vale, Thompson, Manitoba. I work underground in a nickel mine that uses open stope and cut and fill mining methods. I am part of a team that safely produces nickel ore to be further processed at the site’s concentrator. One of my duties is to do underground mapping and structural analysis. I’m responsible for deciding where blast holes are drilled in the underground part of the mine. I also calculate how big a blast we need to open up new ore for transport. I perform material classification and evaluate ground stability too. I also monitor the areas underground where we have removed ore. These open spaces are called open stopes.
One of the jobs of the geologist is to carry out a process called grade control. This is important because it ensures that the ore going into the concentrator is consistent. We do this because the quality of the ore, and the amount of minerals it contains, can vary from place to place in the mine. As a geologist, I also do reconciliation work. Here I make sure that the ore reported matches the actual volume of product produced. This is important because there may be differences between ore reported and actual volume removed. If we don’t get the amount of product we expected it can affect us financially. It may also mean that the grade of our product needs to be increased or decreased which affects the overall tons of nickel produced.
My career path is
In Grade 12, I took an earth sciences course and really enjoyed it. My original plan was to do business in university. But I’m glad I chose geology. I have a B.Sc. in Earth Sciences with a major in Geology and a minor in Geography. I worked with the Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador as a student. That experience made me want to work in the mining and metals industry.
I am motivated by
Learning new things everyday motivates me. Working in an underground setting presents new challenges daily. I also enjoy the people I work with.
How I affect people’s lives
My role as a production geologist may affect people in ways I don’t realize. Nickel is used in a wide range of applications, from medical equipment to electric batteries.
Outside of work I
I play in the local softball league. I find myself outside regularly. Fresh air and sunlight help me unwind after a long day at work.
My advice to others
You can achieve whatever you put your mind to. Be patient but persistent and you will achieve your goals.