New Class of Diamond Drillers Ready for Action
The Arviat Diamond Driller’s Helper program recently saw its fourth group of students attend graduation ceremonies with all 12 students successfully completing the course.
The program was first launched in October of 2011 and to date Agnico Eagle has invested more than $500,000 towards funding the program along with donating safety equipment and providing experts to support the initiative.
“This community-based training program continues to be successful,” said Keith Collier, the Hamlet of Arviat’s Community Economic Development Officer. “With this class, we now have over 40 people trained as Surface Diamond Driller’s Helpers. As the owners of the only operating mine in the Kivalliq Region, Agnico Eagle’s commitment to training and employment in Arviat is crucial to the economic and social development of our community.”
The Hamlet of Arviat has brought together a range of partners – such as government training agencies, drilling companies and colleges – to acquire the drilling equipment, develop the curriculum and operate the program. The program is delivered by instructors from Ontario’s Northern College, in collaboration with the Nunavut Arctic College.
“As mining exploration expands across northern Canada and the Nunavut region, there is increasing and competitive demand for locally available diamond core drillers and drill helpers”, said Denis Vaillancourt, Agnico Eagle’s Exploration Manager for Eastern Canada. “Our investment in this program supports Agnico’s commitment to developing a local sustainable economy, as well as our business need to reduce costs associated with recruiting and transporting drillers from southern Canada. This is a win-win situation for everyone”
Agnico Eagle has also provided logistical and financial support for driver training and work readiness programs in Arviat, as well as an innovative family support program. The Company also works with another Arviat-based company, Kiluk, who provides commercial sewing services.
Next up in terms of community-based training programs in Arviat is a welder’s helper course, which is scheduled to be up and running later this fall.
“Arviat plans to expand their drill training facility is well on its way and we will be working with the Hamlet and their partners to help develop and operate the program”, explained Graeme Dargo, Superintendent Community Engagement – Nunavut. “Our participation and partnership in Arviat’s various initiatives supports our commitment to developing a local sustainable economy.”
Danny Illungiayok and Jonah Sewoee
Back Row, Left to Right: Terrence King, Norman Alikut, Romeo Ikakhik, Andy Ulayok, Robert Jr. Gibbons, Gabriel Anowtalik, Jamie Aulatjut. Front Row, Left to Right: Jonah Sewoee, Jonah Kinak, Danny Illungiayok, Evano Jr. Aggark, Brian Arualak.