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Reviewing Historical Trends of Geological Training in the Mining Sector

Erik Ronald
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
First presented: 
GeoScience Society - AusIMM
This article examines the historical trends of geological training and development for students and industry professionals in the mining sector. It reviews the history of geological training and looks at what is common in business today. A series of recommendations is suggested to improve the state of geological training in the industry in order to maximize the value of professional geologists.
The underlying message in this article is the importance of a strong scientific foundation based on field observations, continuous challenges and varied experiences for career success. Unfortunately, history indicates that many universities and companies have let down geologists, resulting in fewer high-performing and well-qualified geologists entering the industry over the past 25 years, followed by underdevelopment once within industry. This in turn has resulted in fewer geologists in executive roles at major mining companies and a downward trend in significant exploration discoveries.
Throughout this article, the term ‘training’ is used, which should not be confused with external courses or classroom work. In this context, the training is a combination of university degrees, hands-on experience and on-the-job training, all supplemented with professional coursework.


Feature Author

Erik Ronald

Erik Ronald is a geologist with 20 years’ experience specializing in resource geology, exploration and evaluation, resource estimation and geostatistics, mine geology, auditing/due diligence, and reporting of Mineral Resources. His experience spans multiple commodities and deposit types including iron ore, porphyry, IOCG, industrial minerals, and epithermal deposits. Erik has worked across North America, South America, and Australia from greenfields projects through open pit and underground operations.

Erik has held technical, commercial, and leadership roles in both corporate and operational environments. His experience includes project management of technical studies such as exploration and evaluation programs, mineral resource and ore reserve studies, and multiple large project studies (conceptual, OoM/PEA, PFS, and FS levels). Mr. Ronald is a “Qualified Person” for the purposes of NI 43-101 reporting of Mineral Resources and a “Competent Person” for JORC reporting of Mineral Resources. Erik is proficient in geological modeling using Maptek Vulcan and Leapfrog Geo software with extensive estimation and geostatistical experience using Isatis software.

Resource Geology Expert
MEng Geological Engineering, BSc Geology, PG, MAusIMM, SME-RM
SRK Denver
SRK Africa