I’ve been working for Dalradian for three years as a geological technician but this isn’t the first time I’ve worked for a gold mining company in Tyrone. In the late 1980s and early 90s I worked for Omagh Minerals at their gold mine in Cavanacaw. I worked on the drilling rigs there but then left to go to a different job. It just goes to show that gold mining has been in and around Tyrone for a while now. As a geological technician at Dalradian Gold I am part of the geology team that works on the drill core after it comes in from the exploration site. We are responsible for identifying areas of strength and weakness in the rock to enable the mine engineers to design a mine that will operate to the highest safety standards.
We align and orientate the drill core and then carry out various tests on it before it is passed onto the geologists for evaluation. Once the geologists have logged the core and identified areas where gold is likely to be found we cut the core in half and organise for samples to be sent to the laboratory for geochemical analysis. We have to work to strict standards and always carry out quality assurance and control checks as part of our job. This ensures the company can build an accurate model of where the gold is found and the best and safest way to mine it. Working on a gold project is exciting in itself. Especially when you look at the recent gold find in Donegal of four solid gold rings dating back 1000s of years. It shows how gold has played an important role in the lives of people on the island of Ireland for millennia and I’m working on a project that carries on that tradition.
Working with Dalradian has been a great experience. As a company they do everything right, they don’t cut corners and they make sure that whatever they do, they do well. As an employee they very much look after their staff. Everyone is treated the same, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been here or what your job title is, all of us are treated equally and with respect. I’ve worked in a variety of jobs over the years and one of the best things about Dalradian is the training that they provide. They are keen for people to learn new skills and to expand on the experience that employees already have. Any training we need, we get. There are also online training modules that we can do, so there’s a feeling of progression within the company.
I’ve always had a keen interest in the environment and in a previous job I worked in an environmental role. As someone who works for the company and is from Tyrone, it’s great to see the high importance that Dalradian pays to its environmental responsibilities. Their culture of doing things the right way is clear to see. I’ve been living in Omagh since the 1980s and it would be great for the town and the whole west Tyrone area to have an employer of Dalradian’s quality here as a permanent presence, providing 350 full-time jobs. It would be a huge boost for west Tyrone.
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I’m from the Gortin area originally and the Curraghinalt exploration site is on my doorstep. My family has been...