Yukon College students learn mineral exploration tools of the trade
Pilot project gives students hands-on experience using drilling rigs
College students in Whitehorse have been getting their hands dirty this week, learning entry level skills for the mineral exploration industry.
The students are taking part in a pilot program offered through Yukon College's Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining.
The students are learning to operate the type of light-weight drill rigs used in the initial stages of mineral exploration. Successful graduates will be qualified to work to as driller helpers.
Student Shane Schinkel from Tagish, Yukon, is learning to be a driller's helper. He says he knows mineral exploration is down right now, but he's certain it will pick up again.
"I'm pretty excited about it, kind of hoping it will open some doors for me," Schinkel says.
Instructor Tao Henderson says mineral exploration is a good way to start a career in the mining industry.
"Exploration work's always the first thing," he says. "Teaching these people the tools of the trade, and then opening up other doors for them."