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Case Study

Name: Lachlan
Location: Rex Minerals- Hillside, Ardrossan, SA
Role: Senior Geologist
Lives: Moonta, SA

1. What’s your current role in mining?

I am the Senior Geologist for Rex Minerals on the Yorke Peninsula. My role entails leading a team of geologists and field technicians on site in defining and extending the ore body. This involves a lot of planning, drill rig scheduling and supervision, data collection and validation, interpretation and modeling to produce a resource model which feeds into the feasibility studies.

2. Have you been in your current role long?

I have been in my current position for two and a half years. Before that I was a Project Geologist with Rex.

3. What was your first job in mining?

My first professional role was as a Graduate Geologist for a large company in North West Queensland. However I did a bit of drill off-siding during the university holidays, as well as two sessions of “vacation work”. It did help get my foot in the door for my first “professional” role, especially at that time in mining, as it was a bit down and jobs were pretty short.

4. Did you need to do some training or gain some experience before you entered the mining industry? What was it?

I completed a Science degree before working as a geologist. Although not compulsory, I completed an honors degree the year after. I also gained exposure to the industry through two vac work positions during the summer breaks.

5. Did you apply for many jobs within the sector before you were successful?

I sent out 100 odd cover letters and CVs seeking employment as a vacation student for the upcoming summer break. Out of 100 letters, I got about four negative replies and one positive reply. The industry was taking off again at that time, but my experience offsiding really helped get my foot in the door.

6. What’s your best advice to people applying for jobs in the SA mining sector?

Don’t let money be your motivator. You have to enjoy the work, the environment and importantly the people. Its long hours, usually remote, can often be monotonous, and generally in uncomfortable conditions. Knowing about the job and the company you are applying for work with is essential. However persistence is also a necessity, keep on applying for roles.

7. How long have you been in the industry now?

I have eight years experience as a geologist in mining and exploration.

8. What is it you like most about your job?

I am continually learning, both technically and in the management and business aspects. Observing, learning and participating in the process of ‘making a mine’ is rewarding.

9. What’s the biggest challenge in your job?

Besides the complex geology, the biggest challenge is trying to plan in advance when the goal posts are constantly moving.

10. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve learnt about the industry while working in it?

That being a geologist is more of a hindrance than a help when speculating on the share market.