Work Experience in Serbia #2
Going into my second week, it was time to experience something completely new and that was to go underground in an operational mine called Srednji Sturac. This was something I had always been excited to experience, yet at the same time slightly cautious because I did not really know what to expect. After kitting up with a helmet, lamp, boots and overalls it was time to head down the mine and to meet up with the miners at the active face. The walk was slow as we kept having to step aside for the dumpers and diggers to continue their daily business of separating the ore and waste. This did however give me a good chance to start seeing what it was like to actually be situated in a rock unit, instead of only being able to view it from restricted angles at surface. I was amazed by how much you can pick out from underground and how easier it is to see relationships between different units and other features such as its bedding orientation or strike and dip with regards to structures i.e. faults.
After a while, we reached the face, where the miners had spent the last few hours clearing rubble from around the face from the previous blast. The main task was to draw a to scale diagram of the face noting rock type, mineralisation and structures to see how the geology in the face was changing from blast to blast. A secondary task was to measure the length of the tunnel after each blast to track how quickly the tunnel was being lengthened. This was an interesting experience as it allowed me to develop my skills with regards to underground mapping and familiarise myself with the day to day tasks of a production geologist.
My second week with Mineco did not disappoint and built on what I had learnt in my first week. It was great to get the opportunity to go into an operating mine and experience what it is like to be underground and what I can expect to do if I ever worked in a production environment. The fact Mineco offer this opportunity to students and recent graduates is a credit to their company. It really gives you a sense of what to expect as a resource geologist, in a friendly and relaxed yet professional environment. Going into my third week, I am excited to get onto mapping some new license area for the company and hopefully offer up some useful information to help Mineco with future projects.