We spoke to Mike Breecher, a seasoned underground miner in Canada to find out what it is really all about.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be an underground miner?
I was living in New Brunswick working as an over the road long haul truck driver. After seven years of that I started to notice some of my friends moving to Fort McMurray. I asked why? Jobs, oil, money they said!
I was starting to get tired of my trucking career and being home every other weekend so I saved up some money and made a plan. I decided to go to a heavy equipment school in Sussex New Brunswick to get some skills before heading up to Fort Mac. Learning how to operate a dozer, excavator, backhoe, and loader. It was at this school my teacher suggested I head for Yellowknife and try to get on at one of the diamond mines.
I was intrigued by this so I gave it a shot. So after graduation I had saved $6000 in my pocket, loaded up my car and made the drive across Canada. I didn’t know what to expect. When I arrived I checked into a hotel and quickly started to look for a room to rent and a job to get busy. Thanks to a high school friend who was already living there she pointed me in the right direction on how to move forward. (Thanks Sherri!)
It didn’t take me long to find out that getting a job in one of the three diamond mines was gonna be harder than I thought but I didn’t give up and threw the process I discovered the Mine Training Society. After a couple attempts, I applied and got...