Caroline LaPlante

Q: What is the title of your job and what do you do?

A: I am the senior geologist at the Mouska Mine, in NW Québec. I supervise the exploration and diamond drilling programmes. I am also responsible for the QA/QC (quality control of analytical/chemical data) and I make all mineral resources calculations. A team of geologists work under my supervision.

Q: Who do you work for, and where are you based?

A: The Mouska Mine is owned and operated by IAMGOLD Corporation. The Mouska mine is located near the town of Rouyn-Noranda in NW Québec whereas the headquarters of the company are in Toronto.

Q: What kind of hours/shifts do you work?

A: Typical day starts at 7:30 and ends at 15:30. We work from Monday through Friday.

Q: Where do you work?

A: I work in the surface offices on the mine site and sometimes go underground to visit stopes or drifts when beautiful or unexpected geology shows up.

Q: What equipment/machinery do you use?

A: Most of my work is done on computers

Q: What education or training is required for your job?

A: Minimum is a bachelor degree in earth sciences, geology or geological engineering. However, some people (like myself) also hold a Master's degree.

Q: What kind of personal traits do you recommend for this profession?

A: Curious, adventurous, tenacious.

Q: What do you like best about your job?

A: There is no routine. Geological settings vary a lot from one mine or exploration project to another. Furthermore, when a project progresses toward production, new aspects must be taken into account. It is also a tremendous team work.

Q: What are the advantages?

A: Complete social benefits, high salaries, opportunities to work abroad.

Q: What are the advancement opportunities for this career?

A: Being promoted to chief geologist of a mine or be part of the team that evaluates new projects for the company to acquire.

Q: How physically demanding is your job?

A: Field exploration may be physically demanding, but now, at the mine, I work mainly on computers.

Q: Why did you choose this career?

A: Since I was a little girl, I have collected minerals and rocks and performed my experiments on them. I guess my passion for Earth sciences is genetic! Besides, it got me to travel a lot.

Q: What is your most memorable moment/event/place related to your experience as an Earth scientist?

A: When I discovered a gold and copper showing. It has never become a mine, but it was extremely exciting to see the mineralization appear as I was hammering the outcrop!

Q: What is your advice to newcomers?

A: Take time to give yourself all the tools you need to build yourself this exciting career that can be yours.

Q: Any other comments to share?

A: Go for it! The world is yours!

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