Ramelius Resources, like many mining companies, participate in the vacation (VAC) student program which provides university students with hands on work experience during the summer. Students studying engineering, metallurgy and geology are encouraged to take part to gain valuable workplace skills and exposure to their specialist area. The VAC program also gives companies the opportunity to employ students they know are experienced and capable once they graduate. 

Engineering student Eoghan McCallion worked for Ramelius over the summer vacation period along with geological and metallurgical students from Curtin University. Eoghan was also the 2015 recipient of the Ramelius ‘Tim Prime Scholarship’ through Curtin University’s Western Australian School of Mines (WASM). Eoghan recently completed work experience at the Vivien underground gold mine in Leinster.

Eoghan’s story:

From December to February I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to participate in the Ramelius Resources Vacation Student Program.

I worked at the underground Vivien gold mine just outside of Leinster. This was very exciting for me, as I had always wanted to work in this environment.

The vacation program went above and beyond my expectations. 

It was extremely enjoyable. I was able to get firsthand experience working underground and see the amazing activities undertaken every day. I worked with PYBAR, the underground contractor, primarily as a Nipper helping out the Jumbo Operators. But I was also lucky enough to help out in other areas, such as Service Crew, Charge Up and even a few days next to the Airleg.

It was challenging in terms of the pace as well as how much I needed to learn and remember, but all the people I met were really helpful and spent a lot of their time teaching me the ropes and were very patient!

Being able to participate in this program gave me great insight into how complex underground mining is and also how diverse the pathways are within the field. It showed me how passionate people are about the industry and also the great camaraderie was evident among all the people on the site.

I believe the skills I learnt over this period will be invaluable once I graduate and could not possibly be taught in a classroom. I believe this demonstrates the need for students to get involved in vacation programs as often and as early as possible.

I really appreciate all the people at Ramelius Resources for allowing me to be able to participate in this great experience and for teaching me so much about underground mining. I would also like to thank the people at PYBAR who allowed me to work in their crews and were exceptionally generous with their time and really made me feel a part of the team.

By Eoghan McCallion