It was a festive mood outside Save-On-Foods last week where Gibraltar Mine/Taseko Mines staff hosted a free community barbecue in celebration of National Mine Month.
“This is our way to give back to the community,” said Jody Michie, who works as the assistant to the vice president and general manager at Gibraltar Mine.
“Every year [the event] gets bigger and bigger. We bought every pre-cooked hamburger in town — 560 this year, 400 last year.”
Michie moved from Hinton two years ago to Williams Lake for her job and said she has really enjoyed working in the industry for the past seven years.
“It’s so fast-paced and the people are fantastic. I love it. It is an interesting line of work, and every job is so important, whether you are a haul truck driver or an engineer, everyone matters.”
For engineering student Cole McIvor, who is on a 16-month work term at Gibraltar, working in the mining industry has a lot of appeal.
“I like how it brings people from all walks of life and all ages together,” McIvor said, noting he likes that Gibraltar Mine mines copper which improves the standard of living for millions of people around the world
“It’s the main metal used to transport electricity. It’s in your phone, computer, power lines, toasters, microwaves, your car — it’s everywhere.”
Recent McGill University chemical engineering graduate Ben Duchesne moved to Williams Lake two months ago to work at Gibraltar Mine.
Duchesne said he was drawn to the good lifestyle the mining industry affords as well as the challenging work.
“It provides a lot of opportunities and it pushes me out of my comfort zone, I’m always learning.”