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TechWORKS! Career Information Profiles

MINING TECHNOLOGY

When you go to the store and pay for something with coins, do you ever wonder where the coins came from? Long before they were turned into the familiar change we carry in our pockets, they were raw metals hidden in hard rock. How do mining companies know where to drill to find metal deposits? The answer lies in mining technology.

Mining technologists and technicians work for resource industries searching for new mineral deposits. They identify and evaluate deposits, and direct the production and management of developing fields.

As a mining technologist or technician, you could specialize in geology, mining technology, survey or geoscience. You might be involved in exploration, production and/or management.

Some of the activities you might do as a mining technologist or technician are:

Exploration...

  • Prepare base maps
  • Interpret geological data from aerial photos
  • Organize and conduct geophysical and geochemical surveys
  • Assist with geological mapping
  • Interpret geologic history from rock analysis
  • Make recommendations regarding specific methods of extraction

Management...

  • Maintain geological and geophysical databases for resource companies
  • Prepare cost and budget estimates for various resource projects
  • Supervise logistical maneuvers related to exploration programs

Production...

  • Prepare and maintain subsurface or surface survey plans
  • Carry out chemical analysis of major economic minerals found
  • Conduct mineralogical studies and mining operations studies
  • Make volume/tonnage calculations and report findings

Where Will You Work?

As a mining technologist or technician, you work in an office, laboratory, or a processing or mine plant. You might also work in the field, often in remote areas, conducting geophysical and geochemical surveys. You might be in the field for weeks at a time, often seven days a week, in all kinds of weather or you might travel to other parts of the world to conduct surveys.

During the colder months, some technologists and technicians compile and analyze data in an office. Those who work at mine sites and ore-processing sites may be required to work shifts. Mining techs may be required to lift equipment weighing up to 25kg.

Related fields include industrial, gas and petroleum, mechanical and metallurgical.

How Much Will You Earn?

Technologist: 67,500/yr

How Does the Future Look?

The annual growth rate for this career is average.

How Can You Get Started?

In high school, be sure to take courses in English, mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer courses and CADD drafting.

What Will You Need?

To pursue this career you should possess the spatial and form perception necessary to prepare drawings and develop specifications. You need the verbal and numerical ability necessary to analyze data and prepare reports. You should be organized and enjoy detailed work. You should develop good decision making skills and enjoy working independently or as a member of a team.

You should also enjoy working with tools and instruments at tasks that require precision, analyzing data, finding innovative solutions to problems and taking charge of situations.

Post Secondary Possibilities

College
Program
Accredited Status
Discipline
BCIT
Mining
Technologist
Mining
  • Programs listed are those accredited by the Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC); check www.asttbc.org for updates on accredited programs.
  • Check with your career facilitator or counsellor for other sources of information applicable to education options for this technology.
  • Salary figures indicated in the 'How Much Will You Earn?' section are extracted from ASTTBC's Member Compensation Survey or other Canadian sources applicable to the specific technology discipline. These figures are representative only; actual figures will vary depending on academic training, practical experience, job responsibilities and location of employment.
  • The TechWORKS! web site is an important online resource and provides links to career information that will be of interest to students pursuing a career in technology.

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