A mineral rush and a hiring crisis: Canadian mining’s ‘dirty’ image is scaring off recruits – by Francesca Fionda (The Narwhal – April 4, 2024)


Pick axes and coal dust aren’t selling a new generation on jobs in mining. Can the industry clean up its reputation — and act — to meet the demand for critical minerals?

When Courtney Onstad was out in the field collecting samples and searching for gold, it wasn’t the thrill of the find she was after. What excited her most was the science behind everything.

Geoscience is “all around” us. It’s something you can literally reach out and touch — “so much more than rocks,” she said. It explains how mountains form and water and ecosystems interconnect, it can help us understand hazards and weather patterns and reveals the Earth’s evolving history in fossils and formations. At 29, Onstad represents one of the most sought-after resources in the mining and exploration industry today — young talent.

Canada’s federal and provincial governments aspire to become world leaders in the rush for what are known as critical minerals — like manganese for wind turbines, cobalt for electric vehicles and tellurium for solar panels. Each is seen as crucial to building a higher-tech and lower-carbon economy.

The federal government sees the push for critical minerals as “a generational opportunity.” It estimates the country’s 63 major critical mining projects planned or currently under construction are worth more than $60 billion in potential investment. But the industry will need a steady workforce, and multiple industry surveys suggest that isn’t in the cards.

For the rest of this article: https://thenarwhal.ca/mining-young-people-recruitment/