A mining engineering student's reflection on vacation work
As a mining engineering student at the University of Adelaide, I was given the opportunity to complete a 12-week internship as part of my studies.
After a successful application, I secured a summer position at Byrnecut's Capricorn Copper Mine in Queensland. I was thrilled to join the underground trucking team for ore and waste, where I would be a part of an allocated crew.
My time at the mine was an eye-opening experience, as it allowed me to witness the practical application of the mining concepts I had learned in my coursework. I started my time at the mine with the commencement of my green program, which exposed me to all the operations that happen underground, including trucking, nipper, service crew, charge up, solo, bogger, and jumbo.
Observing each operation was enlightening, because it provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the many components required for a mine to operate smoothly. This knowledge is critical for my future career as a mining engineer.
My time at the Capricorn Copper Mine also introduced me to a lot of hardworking and influential individuals who are passionate about mining. These people served as excellent role models and inspirations for me. Conversations with experienced professionals, such as shift bosses, foremen, and the project manager made me realise the amount of work and expertise required for a mining operation to succeed. Their insights and expertise have motivated me to strive for excellence and aim to achieve the same level of success as these industry leaders.
One of the highlights of my internship was the FIFO (fly-in, fly-out) lifestyle. Before starting my internship, I had little idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by how exciting and novel the experience was. I readily embraced the mining culture and felt a strong sense of camaraderie and togetherness on site. The work was challenging, requiring a considerable amount of physical and mental energy due to the long hours. However, it was an excellent opportunity for personal growth, and I emerged from my time at the Capricorn Copper Mine with a newfound sense of accomplishment.
Overall, my time at Capricorn was a valuable experience that allowed me to see the practical application of the theory I had learned in my mining engineering course. Working alongside hardworking and influential individuals in the industry provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the many components required for a mine to operate smoothly.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of the team and look forward to utilising the knowledge and skills I gained to strive for excellence in my career as a mining engineer.
William Murkins is a Mining Engineering student at the University of Adelaide and is currently a member of the AusIMM Adelaide Student Chapter.