Mining career change brings new opportunities

“I’m helping ‘cut the sod’ for the next generation”

When Dominic Coyle started his career in the construction sector 30-years ago he had no idea that one day he would be helping lay the groundwork for an underground gold-copper-silver mine in Tyrone.

For Dominic, who joined Dalradian six years ago after returning from Australia, the chance to join a local firm close to home was something he couldn’t pass by.

With training and new skills provided by Dalradian, Dominic is now a Geo-Technician, splitting his time between helping analyse rock samples and working in the field collecting soil and water samples (which is always done with the landowner’s consent).

Although he really enjoys the craic with his team (all from the local area and construction backgrounds), Dominic is particularly passionate about the jobs and long-term opportunities the project will create for the local community.

Supporting the next generation

“Like a lot of people from around here, I’ve had to follow work across the country and overseas. For anyone who’s regularly got up before dawn to catch a lift to Dublin will know, it’s not a particularly glamorous life!

“Dalradian, however, will provide 350 well paid jobs directly at almost twice the Northern Ireland average salary. There’ll also be around another 650 jobs created with firms supplying the mine.

“When I’m out and about talking to landowners during sampling work, the usual questions are about when the mine will open and what jobs will there be. I tell them that a modern mine needs all sorts of workers, underground and above, and that it will appeal to their daughters as much as their sons.

“From experience, I can also reassure them that the company will support people switching to new types of work in mining. Dalradian is planning to spend £15 million on training in the early years of mine construction and operations to ensure that most workers are from the local area.

“I’m not planning to retire anytime soon, but I love the fact that I’m helping cut the sod for the next generation; when the mine is up and running, they’re the ones who will benefit the most.”

Day to Day

During the week Dominic might help take 50-plus samples as part of his environmental monitoring responsibilities and he spends a good deal of time talking to local farmers (Dominic’s a part-time cattle farmer himself).

“The samples are small – about the size of a bag of sugar – we’re we’re in and out in no time and you wouldn’t notice we’re there. It’s great getting out and about and talking to local landowners.

“Given that farming and mining are both making a living from the land there’s always plenty to discuss.”


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