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June 17th 2012
Published: June 18th 2012
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The MineThe MineThe Mine

Don't get in the way of one of these trucks.
Having been accepted onto a Master’s programme beginning in September, I thought it wise to quit the English teaching/messing around and return to the UK and find some engineering work for the summer. Teaching is enjoyable, particularly the lifestyle that goes with it, but I earn much more as an engineer and soon I would have to pay for the Master’s and, more significantly, have enough money to live in the UK for a year without working. And it is far from being a cheap place to live.

As you may be able to guess from the pictures, this plan didn’t exactly work out as I was offered a job at a Mexican gold mine.

At first I was unsure, Chihuahua State not being the most secure part of the world. In fact, Northern Mexico holds the dubious honour of having the most unnatural deaths of any non-warzone. Though arguably it is a warzone as the cartels battle for control of the lucrative narcotics trade into the US. Then the thought of free Mexican food three times a day made me forget all about any safety issues. (I didn’t think about those issues again till
Cathedral in ChihuahuaCathedral in ChihuahuaCathedral in Chihuahua

It was nice to have a day wandering around Chihuahua between leaving the mine and flying back to the UK.
I saw the burnt out police station in the tiny pueblita where the camp was located. The large army presence was slightly reassuring, though the soldiers did all look about fifteen.)

A little Cessna flew the last hour and a half from Chihuahua, avoiding an eleven hour road journey, and from a few hundred metres up we looked down on very little. The orchards soon end not far beyond the city then it’s barren semi-desert mountains all the way to the mine.

I won’t go into what I was doing there (straightening and profiling a valley for a heap leach pad) I just wanted to show a few photos.

It was pretty intensive working 7am to 7pm seven days a week, particularly because after work you went back to camp; which was on the mine, therefore, there was never any mental separation. After about two weeks I started dreaming about the job.

Overall it was a rewarding month; financially – mostly because flights, food and accommodation were provided; experience-wise – because I had never been to a huge mine like that before or worked on such a large
The Valley Where I was WorkingThe Valley Where I was WorkingThe Valley Where I was Working

The heat and the dust don't come across in photos.
project; and linguistically – rather than spend all my time with the other ex-pats, as the other ex-pats did, I could talk to the Mexican workers and learn lots of new, useful vocabulary regarding engineering.

Would I do it again? Read on a few blogs to discover the answer.

Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


The MineThe Mine
The Mine

The scenery around the site was quite dramatic. Copper Canyon is not far from here.
The MineThe Mine
The Mine

If there's a mountain in the way, no problem, just blow it up.
The CampThe Camp
The Camp

It was nice to have my own room, as most didn't.
A Little Friend I found in My Bathroom One MorningA Little Friend I found in My Bathroom One Morning
A Little Friend I found in My Bathroom One Morning

I thought it was dead till I tried to pick it up and it went for me.
Pancho VillaPancho Villa
Pancho Villa

Leader of the Mexican Revolution.
Pancho Villa's HousePancho Villa's House
Pancho Villa's House

Chihuahua's most famous son.

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