Skip to main content
Career Profile

Chrystine Patoine (She/Her)

Blasting and Drilling Engineer
Chrystine Patoine in underground mine

Chrystine Patoine in underground mine.

Chrystine Patoine in underground mine

Chrystine Patoine in underground mine.

Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

I calculate the best places to put explosives so we can reach underground ore deposits.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Saint-Eustache, Québec

I now live in: Squamish, British Columbia

I completed my training/education at: Polytechnique Montréal, Bachelor of Mining Engineering

What I do at work

Right now, I work in a mining camp north of Yellowknife, in a diamond mine. My schedule is 14 days at camp, and then 14 days at home. I prepare drilling and blasting maps with specialized design software. In other words, I decide where to place the explosives so we can reach the ore safely. I go to the field to evaluate blasting results and to inspect active job sites.

I use my engineering and math background as well as my experience when I plan where blasting can take place. I work with other teams as I do this. I present an initial design to the technical group for review.  This group includes such people as geologists, geotechnical engineers, ventilation engineers and mine planners. Each brings special knowledge about mining. They may ask questions or suggest changes. As a team we develop the best plan for where blasting should take place.

I work closely with mining operations and take part in operational meetings on a daily basis. These meetings keep everyone up to date with the mining plan and sequence we are following as we extract the ore.

Each day I meet with the drillers and blasters (people who do the blasting work) before the start of their shift. I do this to explain my designs and to make sure everything is done safely.

My academic background has helped me greatly with the work I do today. I had a lot of teamwork experience at university. Often there was pressure to hand over assignments on short notice. This allowed me to develop my ability to cooperate and my ability to manage my priorities. While French is my first language, for work I use English.

My career path is

I did not know anything about mining engineering when I was in high school. It was during my studies at CEGEP that a friend told me about mining engineering. After doing some research, I saw that the mining field had a very good placement rate after university. I also learned that the average salary was very good.

Mining engineering is an industry that depends on market flows. In some years there will be a lot of work. In other years, there may be less. During my first university years, it was very difficult for me to find an internship. When the market picked up, I was able to find an internship more easily in the following years. I did four internships during my school program. These were all paid positions which helped me pay for my studies.

I am motivated by

I like working in a team to solve technical problems. What is most interesting for me is working with people from all over and being able to reach a consensus. I am also part of the mine rescue team. If an accident occurs on site, I must answer the call to help if needed.

I also love to travel, and the 14 days on/14 days off schedule allows me to go wherever I want during my leave. I can say that I only work half the year!

How I affect peoples’ lives

My job is relevant because it helps keep everyone safe. Since my job involves explosives, I must make sure that my blasting pattern can be carried out without risk to the workers. To do this, I follow the Mine Health and Safety Act – Northwest Territories.

Outside of work I

During my time off, I ski in the winter and hike and climb in the summer.

My advice to others

In Quebec, most mining jobs are located in Val-d'Or, Rouyn-Noranda, or Thetford Mines. If you want to work in the mining industry, you should expect that you will be working far from major urban centres. Most jobs in this sector are located in the Far North of Quebec and Canada, or in the oil sands in Alberta. There are also many positions available outside Canada. If you like to travel and don’t mind having an unusual work schedule, mining engineering is a good option.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Foreign Languages
  • Geography
  • History
  • Literature and Language Arts
  • Math
  • Music
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Technology
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Played on a sports team
  • Was motivated by success
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Liked reading
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Wasn’t sure what I wanted to do
  • Liked to take things apart to see how they worked
  • Learned best “by doing”
  • Liked to design or build things

Related Topics

Explore Career Profiles

  • Anuj Sharma with sculpted dragon head in background

    Anuj Sharma (he/him)

    Science Demonstrator

    I explain Earth Science phenomena and projects to visitors at Science North.
  • Chrystine Patoine in underground mine

    Chrystine Patoine (She/Her)

    Blasting and Drilling Engineer

    I calculate the best places to put explosives so we can reach underground ore deposits.
  • Sarah Eaton headshot

    Sarah Jane Eaton


    I lead a team that is responsible for licensing small modular reactors.
  • Sarah Lockwood headshot taken outside with snow in the background

    Sarah Lockwood (she/her)

    Mine Geologist

    I study the geology of an area to figure out where diamonds are located.
  • Nancy Duquet-Harvey

    Nancy Duquet-Harvey

    Environmental Superintendent

    I make sure that we don't harm the environment with our mining activities.
  • Sara Knox headshot

    Sara Knox (she/her)

    Assistant Professor (biometeorology)

    I study ways to restore and protect ecosystems to help fight climate change.
  • Stephanie Arnold pilotant un drone dans un champ de pommes de terre.

    Stephanie Arnold (she/they)

    Climate Services Specialist (PEI)

    I help others understand how climate change affects themselves, their communities and their work.
  • Jim Wei tenant un drone

    Jim Wei

    Associate GIS Analyst

    I use online mapping software and programming skills to help solve real-world problems in the environmental and health industries.
  • Marg Rutka sitting on bench

    Marg Rutka

    Geoscience Editor

    I edit geoscience maps, reports and digital data to ensure clarity in writing, consistency and accuracy prior to publication
  • Portrait de Graham Ballachey

    Graham Ballachey

    Vice President, Engineering

    I manage and oversee all the engineering work for a lithium mine development company.
  • Mike Stanzel headshot

    Mike Stanzel

    Technical Sales Manager

    I’m a sales professional who specializes in selling technical or scientific products.
  • Steve Lawrence headshot with trees in the background

    Steve Lawrence

    Sales Manager

    As sales manager for Eos Positioning in Canada, I work with the Sales Reps, Marketing and Production.
  • Hayleigh Conway posant sur une carte des TNO et désignant Inuvik sur la carte. Pris lors de la Journée du SIG 2017.

    Hayleigh Conway (she/her)

    Geomatics Technician

    I make maps that help answer questions about the health of the environment in the Western Arctic.
  • Jessica Rideout

    Jessica Rideout

    Quarry Materials Compliance Officer

    I inspect quarries to ensure that they are operated in compliance with provincial regulations.
  • Dr. Jackie Dawson faisant des recherches sur le terrain sur l'île Beechy, Nunavut.

    Jackie Dawson (she/her/they)

    Professor and Canada Research Chair in Environment, Society, and Policy

    I work with large teams of academics, Inuit knowledge holders, and decision makers to understand the risks and solutions to environmental change.
  • Caroline Richard - Engineer in the mining industry

    Caroline Richard

    Geotechnical Engineer

    I work in the mining industry and manage the waste materials created during ore extraction.
  • Chris Derksen en train de faire ses recherches sur le terrain en Arctique.

    Chris Derksen (he/his)

    Climate Scientist

    I use satellite data and climate models to understand how climate change is impacting snow and ice across Canada.
  • Peter Visscher devant un tableau blanc

    Peter Visscher

    Robotic Vehicle Development, General Manager

    I work with my team to develop extreme robotic vehicles designed to operate off-road and off-planet.
  • Amanda McCallum

    Amanda McCallum

    Geologist, Communication Specialist, Business Owner

    I'm a prospecting geologist, a science communication specialist and business owner.
  • Lesley Hymers à côté d'une pépite de cuivre géante à l'extérieur du musée McBride, à Whitehorse, au Yukon.

    Lesley Hymers

    Manager, Education and Outreach Programs

    I work for an organization that provides Earth science and mineral resources education.