After working in an admin role for six years I decided that I wanted to be doing a job that involved getting outdoors and learning. I always had an interest in geosciences, and after researching the kinds of degrees on offer, I decided to go study geology at Plymouth.
The course gave me a good understanding of geology and the different vocations I could pursue after graduating. The career planning module which ran alongside the dissertation in my final year, really helped me to think about what job I wanted to do and where I wanted to do it. I realised that I didn’t have to be based in the UK, and that there was a huge market for geologists in Australia.During one of the career talks, a past student from Plymouth spoke to us. He was working in the exploration field in Australia. After talking to him I decided that I should give Australia a go and applied for my working holiday visa.
Once I arrived in Perth I contacted many recruitment agencies, who then started to send my CV around to various companies and arrange interviews for me. I ended up having a telephone interview and a site visit to Alacer Gold where I was offered the job of Underground Mine Geologist at their goldmine in Higginsville, Western Australia.
As Underground Mine Geologist, I am responsible for all the development drives underground that contain ore. This includes grading the rocks into low or high-grade ore, mapping and sampling. I also need to look at the bigger picture of the mine to try and determine where the ore is and what direction the ore is going, so I can determine where to mine. This involves looking at software programmes and drill hole data. The geology here is very structural based and I am mainly looking at quartz vein intrusions and shear zones which host gold.
My day starts at 5.30am when I attend the pre-shift underground meeting with all the mine workers. I then plan my day, attending a couple more meetings during which we discuss the previous day's mine production and plans for that day. I then drive underground and get to work, with the day ending at 6pm - slightly different to university life.