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Job title: Vice President - Geosciences (exploration), UK
What are your qualifications?
- A levels: Geology, Geography, English Literature. S Level: Geology, Geography Fieldwork.
- BSc Hons in Geology from the University of Wales, Swansea
- PhD on British barite deposits from the University of Manchester
- Various language courses with certification for Swedish, Spanish and Russian
What exactly does a "Vice President for Geosciences" do?
- Strategic new business development – geological evaluation of exploration and acquisition opportunities world-wide.
- Technical (geological) input into exploration programmes.
- International area and target selection.
- Co-ordination of exploration geoscience (geochemistry, geophysics, remote-sensing, spectral geology, mineralogy) R&D group wide and internationally.
- Talent management and succession planning in the geosciences (730 geoscientists across the group in mining geology, exploration geology, geophysics, geochemistry, remote sensing and mineral resource geology).
Apart from formal qualifications, what other skills or characteristics do you need?
Experience, experience, experience! - for as wide a range of mineral commodities, geological terranes and geographies as possible.
Foreign language, people (interpersonal), presentation, negotiation and social skills
An interest in all aspects of the geosciences.
Practical experience of exploration and mining geology, exploration project management.
A willingness to travel, a love of the outdoors and a desire to make discoveries
What sort of organisation do you work for? Who else employs VP Geosciences?
This is a senior position in a major international exploration and mining company.
Position is equivalent / similar to the Senior Vice President Geology or VP Exploration role in many exploration / mining companies.
If this wasn’t your first job after your studies, what did you do in between?
Field and then project exploration geologist in the UK, Europe and Scandinavia.
Senior Geologist international area and target selection (worked on over 60 mineral exploration projects in over 40 countries on 5 continents)
Project Manager – exploration programmes e.g. Sweden and Russia
Country Manager – mineral exploration programme in Mongolia
Vice President Exploration for Europe-Asia and then South America
Do you travel within the UK or overseas very much?
Both – all the time! This is okay as a single person but can create difficulties for couples and relationships – an understanding partner is required!
Do you work a regular length day/week or are shifts involved?
Shift work is not usual for a geologist in mineral exploration.
Normal working day while in office environment
Very flexible and usually long (but enjoyable) working days while travelling and in the field
What do you enjoy about your job?
Getting out in the field and making discoveries – which we do!
The opportunity to see a wide variety of geological environments and mineralisation “off the beaten track” and away from the usual tourist sites.
The travel – I’ve done it for 30 years and I still get a buzz going to new places and back to old haunts.
Meeting people – the most amazing characters in the most unexpected places.
Lecturing and presenting – I’ve had the most fantastic career in terms of the places I’ve been and geology I’ve seen – it’s a real pleasure presenting these things to people to show them what’s out there, what geologists actually do, and what a really amazing career geology/exploration can be.
What advice or extra information do you wish you’d had before starting this career?
Get a good grounding in all aspects of geology – you’ll need it in mineral exploration.
Learn presentation and language skills very early in your career. Business basics are as important as the science – learn both!
What position would you like to hold in five years' time?
Head of Exploration or Chief Geologist
Background: Geological map of the Grand Canyon, USA. Credit: Brewbooks, Flickr