Wes Preston

Hard Rock Miner

Miner Monday - Wes Preston



What type of miner are you and how long have you been mining? Where are you currently mining?
I’m an underground hard rock miner. I started in underground coal in 2009 and transitioned to hard rock in 2016. I’m currently mining at Nyrstar in Mid-TN with Harper Mining.

What led you to a mining career?
Mining is a generational curse for me. My dad and grandfather raised their families working underground. After high school, I knew college wasn’t for me so, I went to work.

What's a misperception you think the general population has about mining or the biggest thing people should know that they don't know about it?
Mining is a dead or dying industry. It seems to be a common thought that mining has no growth potential or, we’re an outdated industry. With the growth of EV’s and solar panels, we’re in higher demand than ever and the future is bright.


If someone questioned if they would like mining, do you have any advice on questions they could ask themselves about their personality etc. that could help them have a better sense of if they should give it a try?
Show up on day one with thick skin. Every single situation is dynamic and it’s not always gonna go your way. Be able to make a decision and be willing to keep moving. You’ll never break any rock if you’re standing still.


If there was one thing you could change about the mining industry, what would it be?
We’ve gradually gotten away from promoting our managers from within the company. Jobs seem to run better when the leadership is personally invested in the success of the project and, have worked on every level of the operation. 


What is one fun fact about you?
I spend my days off traveling with my wife and, our three kids. We spend as much time as we can finding a new river to fish and a new adventure to have.
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