Resource Geologist. A resource geologist (RG) works with the sample data from exploration drill holes/sample bags, of core, chips and sands. The RG is responsible for all data entering into a main database and creating Structural Models and Quality Models. This data will go on to mining engineers who will generate a mine plan from the models we produce. The data will also be processed by a RG and a 'resource estimate' provided which can be used for stock estimates etc.
What do you get up to on a typical work day?
A typical work day is computer intensive. I work with a modelling software package called Minescape. In this software I generate structural and quality models from drill hole or mineral sand samples. A normal day is problem solving intensive. We deal with legacy data a lot of the time and have to make old lab techniques/sampling techniques fit with real world current standards. JORC – Joint Ore Reserves Committee is the current standard in Australia.
How did you get into your field?
I got into my field in an unusual way. I landed in Brisbane, Australia and marched myself up to the top floor of Hancock Coal house (you may have heard of Gina Rinehart? Richest woman in the world? – it's her mining company) and knocked on the door of the second in command and asked for a job. I was told I had 'chutzpah' (perhaps less politely!) and ended up working for their main contractor for a mine in Queensland. An unusual way to enter the industry, but its dog- eat- dog. I subsequently was noticed to have good skills in the modelling side of things and ended up working as a Resource geologist instead of the exploration geologist I had been contracted as.
What advice would you give anyone wanting to get into your field?
Find a visa for Australia, Canada or New Zealand, and get yourself on a plane and get stuck into the big mixing pot that is Geology. There are many companies recruiting online, so get in touch with them and get some tips for your chosen country!
Best/most exotic field location you have visited?
Hunter Valley Coal Mines – Plenty of coal, plenty of wine. The Hunter Valley is one of the largest coal producing areas in Australia. It is also one of the largest wine producing areas.
Hammer or Hand lens?
Volcano or Dante's Peak:
Tough choice… Dante's Peak
Lab or Field?
Lab (computer lab)
Best/Worst thing about your job?
Best thing is being able to afford the time to travel and explore Australia and New Zealand. Worst thing is report writing… and being on the other side of the world and not being able to go visit Glasgow!