May 16, 2017

First Day!

Well, today was my first day!  To be honest it was a lot of paperwork and MSHA training.  We got up at 3:45 this morning... Well, I woke up at 2:45, my roommate didn't get any sleep really.  We got ready to go and drove to the parking lot where busses were supposed to pick us up.  We found a line of miners waiting for a bus so we joined the ranks.  A few minutes later we realized that those were the wrong busses... These were going to Elko. That was not where we wanted to go haha.

The real busses were across the parking lot and labeled Barrick.  Funny how that works.  We got on in two of the last seats.  As we started off, a guy from security who had been asleep behind us spoke to us, probably noticing that we were new.  "You can recline the seats if you want, they don't go very far but it might feel better." We took his advice and he promptly went back to sleep.  The ride took about 40 minutes to get us to the mine.  On the way there we saw an amazing sunrise.  The pictures I have, taken through grimy windows, don't do it justice.  There were so many shades or purple and orange, it was beautiful​.

The bus driver told us where to get off and where to go, and as we left the bus the looming mine shaft in the distance rang its bell.  I can't quite describe how I felt just then, a mix of tired, terrified, and thrilled.

We went inside, I said hello to my supervisor, and we were all ushered downstairs.  6 interns in total this round.  There were apparently more coming later.  We started in on one of many talks and slideshows about paperwork and safety, policies and protocols.  Its honestly a little scary hearing all the horror stories and warnings and safety measures we have to remember.  After 9 hours of this we were done for the day.  My supervisor found me in the waiting room and asked me to follow him.

Even though today was filled with essential learning, he gave me a taste of what I would be working with.  Using a program called Vulcan, they had mapped everything about the mine, its grades, ore quality, and more.  It's so interesting to see the bigger picture of geology besides the close up of the individual rocks.  I'm so excited to return.

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