Des Marriott's Story
When Ernest Henry Mining's (EHM's) open pit mine was completed in December 2011, around 80 of our employees transitioned into new roles within our operations. Among those is Des Marriott, one of our new Production Drillers in our underground mine. For Des, setting off on a career adventure has never been more interesting.
"I began working in the mining industry 13 years ago as a Drilling Contractor travelling around Australia to various exploration sites. This is when I first set foot on the EHM lease. I started working permanently in the EHM open pit ten years ago. During that time I worked as a Blast Hole Driller, Drill and Blast Coordinator and Acting Drill and Blast Supervisor.
"As the end of our open pit mine life approached I submitted an expression of interest to transition into a similar role in our underground mine. I had experienced underground mining before, and I was keen to get a permanent feel for the underground world. I saw the transition to an underground production drilling role as a valuable opportunity for me to use my skills in an exciting and new environment.
"It took me a few months to get a feel for the place as well as training to operate the long hole rigs and as a Production Shot Firer. I'm proud to work in an area that plays such a huge part in the ongoing development of our new underground mine, which is so important to the sustainability of our operations.
"It's unreal being able to work alongside experienced underground miners and soak up their on-the-job know-how. Initially it can take time to get your bearings down there – it's like a labyrinth, but that's what makes working underground so exciting. There aren't many people in the world who can say they work in a maze of tunnels, hundreds of metres beneath the surface of the earth. Underground feels like home to me now and I'm enjoying every minute of it.