Short Range Planner (Engineer)

Christopher Cavasin, Age 22, Mining Engineer
Short Range Planner @ Barrick Gold Corporation – Cortez Hills

What did you get your degree in?
Mining Engineering from Queens University in Canada.

Why mining engineering?
The opportunities are endless! Whether it’s a small town, a big city, or a completely different country you can really choose where you want to end up. Not only can you choose where you are located, you can either specialize in a specific area or learn many different facets of the business.

What are your job responsibilities?
Currently I am part of the short range planning team at Cortez Hills. Our team uses 3D mine design software to make designs of the open pit, leach pads, waste dumps, haulage routes, drill patterns, shovel scheduling and sequencing, reclamation planning, and drainage designs. We run daily and weekly lineout meetings, produce monthly reconciliation reports, and give technical presentations. Our team makes all these designs with safety as the main focus to make sure everyone gets home safe and healthy at the end of the day.

What is blast design?
Blasting is a very critical step in the mining process! You have to break the rock before you can move it. The mining industry does that with explosives. We drill the rock so that the blasters can load the holes with explosives and shoot it. It’s one of my jobs to create a planned drill pattern so that when we shoot it the rock is broken efficiently so that it’s not too big or too small. We have many procedures in place to ensure this is done safely.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love to learn new things! Being on site has taught me some amazing things in a very short time period. I’ve learned the most from the guys that have been in the field for over 30 years, they know the ins and outs of mining.

What’s your advice to new mining engineers?
I would tell them to get out in the field and “get their hands dirty”! This is where they are going to learn the most about the business. To actually be on site learning the real challenges of mining will help them understand the industry and make them extremely effective in the future!