Steven Adams

Underground Miner

Type of Miner? Underground
Where are you currently mining? Nevada Gold Mines Goldrush Underground
How long have you been mining? 17 years

What do you find most rewarding about your job as a miner?
As an Underground Mobile Maintenance Supervisor I get to watch people succeed and set them up for it. I get to find out where techs want to be and help them reach their goals. I get to play the ever evolving chess game with operations of what do we need to do together to reach the targets set and needs of the mine while still maintaining the gear correctly and efficiently. The greatest part is watching the people I work with day in and day out is going home safe and progressing in their careers.

Where are you from?
Hagatna, Guam. After we left there all over Nevada

What led you to mining?
I was working in west central Nevada and a friend called and asked if I would be interested in running a lube truck. I said yes, filled out an application, interviewed and got hired at Barrick Goldstrike Meikle Mine.

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
Anything outdoors usually. Play golf and softball, hunt, camp, ride UTV’s, travel, and hang out with family.

How do you see the future of mining evolving, and what opportunities or challenges do you anticipate?
I see things becoming more automated which is going to cause our maintenance groups to evolve and be more electronic than mechanical even more so than now. Operations will have to let the machines run with minor adjustments during operation.

Are there any particular skills, qualifications or advice that are essential for someone interested in becoming a miner?
Be teachable. Hard working is wonderful but be teachable also. In interviews we hear “ I’m a hard worker” or “ I’m a fast learner”  but rarely hear “ I am teachable” which is different from a fast learner. If you are interviewing with no qualifications that’s not a bad thing that means you are a blank slate that has no bad habits; if you have experience that would translate to mining exploit that as well but also understand companies do things differently than others and  sometimes even site to site within the same company.

What are some of the challenges you face regularly in your work, and how do you address them?
Some of the equipment we have is the only kind like it in the United States so knowledge of the equipment and parts can be challenging. Plus being a new mine with limited amounts of equipment makes every truck, loader, bolter, jumbo etc vital. So we do make those after hours calls a little more frequently.
The best way I’ve found to address and manage the challenges are to empower my techs to make the calls in repairs, know where they are and what they are doing as well as what is the priority equipment that shift for ops. I don’t look at the down sheet as a whole I look at it as what is manageable right now and what is not and go from there. I also prioritize planned work since that is what is going to keep the drift calls down.

Share a Safety Tip:
If you’re ever unsure ask and do not be afraid to shut the job down if it is unsafe until hazards are managed.
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