I spent most of my life in Red Lake, Ontario, which is about 3 hours north of Dryden. I went to university for mechanical engineering and then worked for the Goldcorp Red Lake mine.
In 2008, I came to work at the De Beers Canada Snap Lake Mine, 220 km northeast of Yellowknife, to further my career and earning opportunities. I’m a Maintenance Engineer. My shift is a 4 and 3 rotation, which means I generally work at site Monday to Thursday and then have 3 days off in Yellowknife. Among other things, I supervise the maintenance planners and technicians.
In my job I've been able to take on projects that might have gone to a more experienced person if I was working in the South. Right now I’m working on an interesting project. As Canada’s first fully underground diamond mine, Snap Lake Mine must continually pump out water from underground – at the rate of an Olympic size swimming pool every 3.5 hours. This water is pumped to a surface holding tank (called the reactor tank), which flows into a thickener to settle the sediments, and then is treated and flows back into Snap Lake. I’m working on a water diversion system that will allow us to bypass the reactor tank, so we can work on it, without having to shut down the pumps and divert the water. I love the challenge!
I have the best of both worlds here in the NWT. Four days of the week I get to work in a challenging job in a self-sufficient little community where I’ve become friends with good people. And the other three days of the week I’m in Yellowknife, where everything I need is here and it’s easy to make friends with people who love what I do – snowmobiling, camping, hiking, fishing. It works for me!