New Gold brings Heavy Equipment Operator Simulator to Minerals North

Nearly 60 Vanderhoof Grade Six students had a chance to get their hands on the big stuff at the Minerals North conference on Thursday.

  • May. 27, 2014 2:00 p.m.
New Gold brings Heavy Equipment Operator Simulator to Minerals North

New Gold brings Heavy Equipment Operator Simulator to Minerals North

Todd Hamilton

Black Press

Nearly 60 Vanderhoof Grade Six students had a chance to get their hands on the big stuff at the Minerals North conference on Thursday.

New Gold, the gold sponsor of the 2014 Minerals North conference, brought their Heavy Equipment Operator Simulator to Vanderhoof for students to try out — the same simulator used to train actual mine workers.

“We know it’s important to introduce elementary and high school students to mining as a potential career,” New Gold president, chief executive officer and director, Robert Gallagher, said. “The simulator provides youth with a hands-on mining experience and exposes them to career opportunities close to home.”

The students had a chance to experience New Gold’s Heavy Equipment Operator Simulator and test drive bulldozers, rock graders, rock trucks, loaders, backhoes and excavators, as part of the conference’s mining education program.

“We’re focused on making sure local communities have access to local training and education opportunities,” said Gallagher. “Bringing the Heavy Equipment Operator Simulator to Minerals North gives everyone a chance to try out the equipment and learn a little more about mining as a career choice.”

The simulator provides new learners with a hands-on experience and helps existing operators hone their skills. It can take many years for heavy equipment operators to develop a high level of proficiency and simulators significantly reduce learning time and help address B.C.’s shortage of skilled labour.

With an expected Blackwater Project workforce of 500 operations employees and 1,200 to 1,500 construction workers, Gallagher said New Gold is committed to hiring and contracting locally whenever possible.

“We’re focused on making sure local communities have access to local training and education opportunities,” said Mr. Gallagher. “Bringing the Heavy Equipment Operator Simulator to Minerals North gives everyone a chance to try out the equipment and learn a little more about mining as a career choice.”