Monday, June 23, 2008

Mining and Exploration News

Just a few summaries and links to mining and exploration stories out recently. Excuse some dorky titles. How can you tell which titles are dorky? Easy, the dorky ones are mine.


From Ron Schott's Geology Picks:
Not so Good Oil and Gas Exploration in Washington state

From Geology.com:
Surprise, surprise, there's a new gold rush in CA!

Internet Addiction - do YOU suffer from it? (Oops - not mining related unless you are reading this blog post over and over again!)

Also from Geology.com:
Geologists are needed in Australia

But in other reports (and comments), jobs aren't really available unless you KNOW SOMEONE.

Canada can't attract women into mining jobs according to this article - also from Geology News - although on my spring field trip, all the women geologists were Canadian, except for me.

Mining and petroleum-related jobs are still going strong - from Arizona Geology.

Space radar can be used to improve mine safety in underground mines, from EurekAlert!

I could find no reference in the above news release to open-pit mines - I guess we're on our own! Also, the news release mentioned driving the referenced new equipment through mineshafts. Mine shafts are vertical, and no underground trucks or truck drivers drive up and down through these things (shafts). The driving is done in mine tunnels or adits, and in declines or inclines. Declines are mine tunnels or adits that descend gradually as you walk into a mine (or drive - a geologist should be so lucky!); inclines are tunnels that go uphill at a very slight angle as you enter the mine, usually for drainage purposes. Also, the article speaks of the "roofs" of underground mines, a somewhat vague term that could refer to the rocks immediately overhead while underground, or possibly to surface rocks above the entire mine - I'm not really sure which, because if you are in an underground mine, the surface over your head is called the "back." And that's because when the oldtimers made their tunnels, they were typically not very high, and the miners had to bend over to enter and walk through them, thus having their backs almost in contact with the "ceiling" of the mine adit.

Last but not least, lots of things have been happening in Arizona - as usual - see these articles and more at Arizona Geology:

Arizona Geology shows a neat, colorful table comparing commodity prices over the past decade, described somewhat more fully at Pitpundit Blog.

2 comments:

Kim said...

I'm back from a week visiting family, so I'm catching up on last week's posts. I wonder what the disagreements about job opportunities mean. My perspective is that our department has been getting a lot of e-mails (more than once a month; sometimes more than once a week) from people wanting to hire new geology graduates. Some of the jobs are mining, some oil, some environmental. But that's a matter of knowing someone - the e-mails come from alums, from local companies, and from companies that know the department in some way or another. On the other hand, we're getting a lot more requests than we've gotten in the past - that's my indication that the market is good for geology grads.

I'm not sure that the need for connections is very different from the job situation in other industries in the past, though - even the tech industry in the 90's. So, well... I wonder if the new grads are expecting things to be too easy. (Maybe they've been told that it's easy... in which case, they might need more realistic mentors.)

Silver Fox said...

Kim, glad you're back.

I'm not really sure about geology grads - the particular lively discussion at I Think Mining was about all the adds for haul truck drivers and other miners (a miner by definition is anyone who works at a mine) in Australia, and then certain applicants without experience not being able to get work. There might be reasons that for that, reasons we don't know about that were not stated in the comments!

The turnover in haul truck drivers can be moderately high sometimes, so that drivers are often needed. Companies prefer drivers with "long haul" (trucking) experience. In the particular instance I know of here in the states, it was helpful for the applicant to have a family member working at the mine. Some mines try to keep families together by hiring family members to work - in different departments where they don't really work together or even see each other.

As for our new geology grads, it certainly can't hurt to have contacts, even if those contacts are their professors or the professional organizations the grads join (it looks good on resumes, if nothing else). I think that with all the ads for jobs online, searching for jobs must be somewhat different than it was in the past. It used to be best to go to company offices and knock on the door.