Mining & Heavy Industrial

Our team of experienced mining & heavy industrial recruiters play in this space all day.

Looking for industry on the industry, hiring, & what’s to come? Check back often for posts from our experts!


Spring is Here and Idled Mines Are Roaring Back to Life


It was a long winter, and all the off-season work and preparation you’ve done for this spring is about to be put into action. You’re chomping at the bit to start the engines, push some buttons, and start producing. But before you do that, please take a moment and think about safety.

Did you know April is the second deadliest month in the metal and non-metal industry, with 50 fatalities since 2000? Here are a few good reminders to help keep everyone safe, especially during the first few months of producing, when the weather may only allow you to run intermittently.

New Employees

Very often you will have new employees joining your team when your season begins. Whether these employees are industry veterans or brand new to mining, designate time to train and establish safe work practices. Refresh on manufacturers’ specifications for safe equipment operation and make sure to focus training on unfamiliar or new tasks.

First Aid and Emergency Response Procedures

Make sure all employees understand and follow these procedures! It is imperative that you designate a competent person to be available at all times in case of an emergency. This person should be trained and able to provide first aid, including artificial respiration, bleeding control, treatment of shock and burns.

Plan and Communicate

Early in the season, allow extra time to complete tasks and projects. It is common for routine tasks to take longer than normal. Allowing extra time will help ensure they are being completed safely and correctly. Communicate clear instructions, including how to mitigate risk and the proper use of safety equipment.

It’s going to be a busy 2019 in the metal and non-metal industry. Just keep in mind safety has to always come first. It only takes one small moment of carelessness for an accident to happen. Always keep your guard up and look out for one another. Have a great season and let’s all go home safe.


The Limitations and Possibilities in Mining


It’s no news to anyone that the crippling cold weather we had in the Midwest can halt work activities.

While talking with one of my contacts today, we were going over extreme conditions worked in; they do not break ground when temperatures are below 14 °F degrees. Another contact went over the same procedure and they don’t work in anything below -30 °F. It’s so frigid that you can even find images of rail tracks having fires lit on them to warm them up.

It got me thinking about a picture a colleague showed me from a diamond mine in Serbia; some of the extreme mines out there are pushing the boundaries of engineering today.

In cold weather, special rubbers, fluids, and PPE are necessary. So here is something to take your mind off the cold if you’re in the Midwest!

Meet the Mponeng Gold Mine: The World’s Deepest Mine


Source: Wikipedia

Located in South Africa, the world’s deepest mine is a staggering 2.5 miles (or 4 kilometers) below the surface. The temperature of the rock at that depth is 151 °F or (66 °C) and pumps cycle ice slurry down just to make the conditions manageable. Just going to that temperature without the insulation and cooling would be fatal.

As you look at how far we’ve been able to push the boundaries, a number of countries have worked to drill as far as possible. The Kola Superdeep Borehole was a scientific drilling project of the Soviet Union. The project aimed to drill as deep into the Earth’s crust as possible. The USSR made it nearly 8 miles below the surface and is the deepest known to man. The temperature there is 180 °F (356 °C)!

Pushing the boundaries in mining

There are numerous threads talking about the sheer possibilities of using this energy. The Geothermal activity could power boilers and turbines and in turn, may have endless possibilities. And on that point, a number of these deep gold mines in Africa are not possible without modern technology.

Technology in mining is the main reason we’re able to explore and question opportunities for future energy sources. And without us continuing to push the boundaries, who knows where we would be today.

I’m always fascinated by both historical and futuristic views into my industry. If you have any particular sites that you have pictures of or a website that you think is very interesting, I’d love to see it!


Safety in Mining – It’s Come A Long Way


The mining industry has come a long way over the last 120 years. In years past, mining had little to no oversight and miners’ lives were put at risk, daily. The bright spot is that the mining industry in the U.S. has made serious headway in minimizing injuries and deaths. Safety has been moved to the forefront and everyone participates. Training, culture, and active participation all play a role in making safety and saving lives a priority.

Here are some encouraging stats:

  • From 1979-1999 metal and non-metal mining had 1,706 fatalities, according to MSHA.
  • From 2000-2018 for metal and non-metal, that number dropped to 476 fatalities.
  • Coal saw 1,644 fatalities between 1979 and 1999.
  • Coal dropped to 489 fatalities during the period between 2000 and 2018.

Fatalities are trending down in mining

2018 saw 15 fatalities in metal/non-metal mining; up two from 2017, but the second lowest year since MSHA started keeping track. Coal also did well in 2018, having the second-best year ever (tying with 2015) with 12 fatalities. In contrast, this is up from 2016, which saw 8 fatalities and is down from the 15 in 2017. To really slam home the safety improvement within the industry, coal had 3,243 fatalities in 1907 – the most in recorded history. In 1917, metal and non-metal had only 983.

It is a given fact that any fatality is unacceptable, but the strides the industry is making at reducing incidents is very encouraging.

Miners are essential

Those who have read my article “10 Interesting Mining Facts You Probably Didn’t Know,” understand the importance of the mining industry to our world. Miners are essential, and in my opinion, do not receive the recognition they deserve. With that said, a safety culture, while at times inconvenient and cumbersome, is there to ensure everyone gets home to their families at the end of the day.

This article is dedicated to the 128,597 souls we have lost in mining over the past 119 years since the U.S. started keeping records in 1900. Respect, love, and having each other’s backs = mining.


What Am I Looking for on a Resume?


We’ve published many articles discussing resumes. However, as a professional mining & heavy industrial recruiter, what am I looking for on a resume?

Using keywords and phrases

First of all, let me explain the way most resumes are found today during an active job search, excluding direct applicants. Some sort of search is performed whether it’s online or an internal database. Knowing this, you can use keywords and phrases to your advantage. For example, if you have experience with Allen Bradley equipment, I would be sure and add PLC on your resume so hiring managers will notice you in their stack of applicants. In another case, I would be sure to use the words purchasing and procurement. Using relevant keywords on your resume just gives yourself the best chance to be seen.

Add a skills section

I always recommend including a skills section on your resume. In the mining & heavy industrial world, it’s crucial to see what skill sets a candidate has to ensure they can safely perform necessary duties of the job. You should include a bulleted covering your relevant experience. This is also another prime opportunity to add more keywords.

As good as you might be at your job, if your key skills are not easily legible, you may miss out on the job of a lifetime.

Resume format

I always get asked how long a resume should be. I have seen some great two-page resumes.

Some of the better examples I have seen have a brief summary. I personally like a resume with the most recent experience at the top. Dated in chronological order, with a company, title, and then a short overview.

Resume example for a position as a Maintenance Manager

2014 – current

ABC Company: Maintenance Manager

Responsible for 3 supervisors and 15 technicians in a 155-person continuous manufacturing facility. I oversee a maintenance budget of $xxx and schedules, including PM schedules and root cause analysis. We have improved equipment availability from 92-95% in the calendar year utilizing and KPI’s which I created after conducting a full plant analysis. Brought vibration and thermography in-house, saving $xxx.

This is just a short example of what I like for on a resume. The questions I will get from clients are going to be related to your own involvement at a job. Thus, if you can paint that picture verbally, you can get noticed and save some valuable time in the hiring process.

I hope this helps any of you who are looking for answers on a very common question I hear.

coal mines

Five Fascinating Mines from Across the World (Part 3)

I am pleased to bring you the next edition of my Five Fascinating Mines from Across the World blog series. As always, I’ll be sharing pictures and interesting facts about the mining industry. For the first time viewer, I am an executive recruiter in the mining industry. I get to spend my days working with my clients discussing their staffing needs and filling those roles with the most qualified candidates on the market.

Since we’re getting into the holiday season, I want to mention how thankful I am to have this opportunity to help change lives in the most fascinating industry out there. So, if your company is having a hard time hiring in this tight talent market, please reach out to me so we can discuss how we can work together to effect change on your organization or personal career path… Enough of the sales pitch, let’s get to the good stuff!

Rio Tinto’s US Borax Operation – Boron, California

US Borax Operation in Boron CA

Source: Rio Tinto

Individual Americans use an average of 40,000 pounds of minerals each year. That’s right 40,000 pounds! From vitamins to salt, to laundry detergent you are using mined minerals daily!

Bailey Mine Complex – Pennsylvania

Bailey Coal Mine Complex

Source: Wikipedia

The Bailey Coal Mine Complex is a group of three coal mines in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Together, they make up the largest underground mine complex in North America. In 2013, the Complex contributed nearly 20 million tons of coal.

As a matter of fact, in 2016, coal producers paid $39 million in federal coal royalties. Granted, half of these royalties were used to fund public schools.

Mponeng Gold Mine – Johannesburg, South Africa

Source: Volvo Construction Equipment

The Mponeng Gold Mine in Johannesburg, South Africa is the world’s deepest mine, reaching a depth over 4km (13,123.4ft).

Soquimich Mine – Chile

Soquimich Mine - Chile

Source: Research Tree

Did you know that lithium was once a key ingredient in the soda 7 Up!? From 1940-1950, Lithium was in 7 UP, and  Cadbury Beverages Corporation even touted the positive health effects of lithium in their soda! For example, the image above from Soquimich Mine in Chile illustrates brine deposits containing lithium.

Brine deposits are essentially underground reservoirs that contain high concentrations of dissolved salts, such as lithium. Not to mention, dry lakebeds create it!

Graymont Minerals – Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania

Graymont Minerals Pleasant Gap

Source: Graymont

This one is for my aggregates clients! 85,000 tons of aggregates are needed to construct just one mile of interstate highway.

I tried to cover a little bit of everything on this one. From minerals, coal, and even gold, I really hope you enjoyed these interesting facts and breathtaking images. In addition, if you haven’t checked out the first or second edition of the Five Fascinating Mines from Across the World, you won’t want to miss them!


The ABC’s of Mining


Like in any industry, those in mining speak their own language. From the technical vocabulary to the slang, those not playing in “mining sandbox” need a dictionary to decipher what’s being said. Here are some fun, cool, and informative terms for you to ruminate on.

Interesting mining terms

  • Miners, in the early days, were known as “underground savages.”
  • A “windy shot” (no, it’s not what you are thinking…) was termed to explain when an explosion failed to break the coal.
  • When we hear the word “conglomerate,” the first thing most people think of is a too-big-to-fail corporation. In mining, it means a coarse-grained sedimentary rock composed of rounded fragments greater than 2mm, within a matrix of finer-grained material.
  • “Horse” refers to a mass of rock matter that occurs in or between the branches of a vein.
  • A “Bump” is a violent dislocation of the mine workings due to the severe stresses in the rock surrounding the workings.
  • What would we do without technology? Back in the day, “Muck” meant working by hand, with a shovel. Fast forward to present day, and operators who use “Muckers” are a hot commodity!
  • Back in the day, a “Nipper” was an errand boy who ran errands for miners. I think we call them “Interns” now…
  • “Slag” (my favorite term) is the waste left as a residue by the smelting of metallic ore.
  • “Diffusion,” not to confuse with “infusion” for you “foodies’ out there, is the blending of a gas and air, resulting in a homogeneous mixture; or, the blending of two or more gases.
  • Speaking of gases, does anyone out there know what a “Little Red Wagon” was? It was the nickname given to traveling toilets back in the day!

The mining industry is one of a kind

Mining has been a very important part of our history for many centuries and is a lifestyle for many. I have a passion for the industry, and hearing stories from the mining professionals I speak with on a daily basis and seeing the old photos they share on social media makes me so incredibly honored and happy to be a part of the industry.  There is only one legitimate mining industry, and those who work in it are the only true legitimate mining professionals.


Let’s Put an Even Bigger Emphasis on Safety This Winter


Winter won’t officially begin until December 21st. However, it’s already that time of the year when mining and heavy industrial professionals need vigilantly follow ALL safety practices with the goal to make it through the most hazardous time of the year accident-free.

Below are a handful of helpful reminders to help you get through the season safely:

Preventive Maintenance on Mobile Equipment

Make sure you have proper tires and tire pressure, reduce idling time, and regularly monitor for exhaust leaks. Never use an open flame to heat components and make sure only trained staff members are operating the equipment.

Limited Visibility

There are many factors that can decrease visibility. Fog, dust, smoke, and snow being the big contributors. Make sure to keep speeds down and allow more space between vehicles to give you more time to react to unforeseen hazards in your path.

Methane Gas Buildup in Underground Mines

Methane gas moves more easily throughout the mine due to the lower winter barometric pressure. Coal dust in the atmosphere mixed with the methane gas can cause an explosion. Make sure you know your ventilation plan, maintain it diligently, and liberally apply rock dust.

Slippery Walkways and Haulage Roads

Remove snow/ice and apply sand to maintain traction and reduce the chance of slips and falls. Be sure to take your time when walking or traveling on slippery surfaces.

Safe work is Great Work

At JSG, our safety slogan is “Safe Work is Great Work.” And as a recruiter in the mining and heavy industrial space, I understand the importance of safety for every organization. However, many safety hazards, especially the ones highlighted above, are even more dangerous this time of year. If you are unsure about any additional winter season safety practices at your facility, please see your safety officer immediately and be safe. Have a safe holiday season!

Bakken Formation

The Resurgence of the Bakken Oil Formation

Bakken Formation

The Bakken Oil Formation has a history as rich as the oil it produces. The Bakken’s production took a hit in 2006 with barrel prices taking a hit. However, with new efficiencies and the comeback of U.S. produced oil, the Bakken is gearing up for a comeback. In 2018, 1.3 billion barrels are produced each day. And the Bakken Formation has enough fuel to produce upwards of 2 billion barrels per day in the near future.

The history of the Bakken Formation

The Bakken Formation has been producing oil since 1953, making it one of the largest U.S. oil producers. In 1995, geologist Dick Friendly realized the Middle member of the Bakken Formation was a better target for oil extraction. Through a groundbreaking discovery, Friendly determined that although there was less oil to extract, the Middle member was able to maintain open fractures more than both the upper and lower parts of the Bakken.

Additionally, horizontal drilling was much easier and made for great oil recovery. Through this technique, the Elm Coulee Oil Field in Montana was formed. In 2000, the Elm Coulee Oil field produced a total of 270 million barrels. By 2007, it was producing 53,000 barrels of oil per day, which was more than the rest of Montana just a couple years prior.

The oil surge in Bakken

In 2006, an interest sparked in the East Side Trap when EOG Resources when a single well drilled into an oil-rich layer near Parshall, ND, anticipating the production of 700,000 barrels of oil.  In 2007, the combination of this discovery and a huge tax break started the oil rush in North Dakota. The number of wells drilled in jumped from 300 in 2006 to 457 in 2007! The future of the Bakken formation was uncertain until 2009 when Brigham Oil & Gas achieved great success with large Hydraulic Fracing treatments with more than 25 stages.

With such a successful discovery, you may be wondering how this has impacted the state of North Dakota? The oil boom gave those who own mineral rights a large new source of income. The boom has reduced unemployment and gave the state of North Dakota a billion-dollar budget surplus!

The Bakken Formation has seen another surge thanks to dramatic improvements in drilling returns due to efficiency and productivity gains. The price of a barrel of oil will always determine what goes on in any of the oil basins, but at this rate, the Bakken Formation isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions: How They Impact Headcount

mergers and acquisitions

Business is good for many companies today and venture capital has hit record highs this year. The number of new facilities opening and the growth of existing operations has certainly led to more mergers and acquisitions.

This is a common occurrence. And in my experience, it has become more common as of late. I see more senior leaders who are focusing on integration and corporate structures, with many employees concerned about redundancy eliminating their job. A large percentage of candidates in my network have come to market after an acquisition. Others have found themselves on the market with even just whispers of a sale.

No one can say that their fears are not justified. Many of these positions will end up nonexistent anyway. So wouldn’t you rather take the opportunity in front of you, with an outlined structure, then wonder what today or a few tomorrows’ from now might bring?

As a company, I think that an emphasis on contributing and key positions approached with solid communication has a certain value on retention. Hearing you’re the only person who can perform your job regionally in either company from your boss has a definite calmness implied.

Continuing to recruit on important positions is essential; during a merger or acquisition, it’s nearly impossible to tell whose foot is halfway out the door. With the challenges and timelines surrounding today’s labor market, the fear of adding some red ink during a business deal could result in trying to fill two critical positions rather than one.

Find yourself in the middle of a merger or acquisition?

If you’re inclined to leave, the market is favorable for skilled employees. In fact, a transfer is actually likely to improve your own bottom line. Companies are adding more details to sign on and retention packages these days.

Certain you’re staying? Save yourself a potential headache down the road. You aren’t planning to stop working until the deal is done. Holding on hiring could be in essence resulting in the same outcome. With a vacant position, there is work not being done. Delaying that in the middle of a high turnover period could result in massive cost and production impact. And that’s not even incorporating the additional strain to the understaffed department.

After all, we’re just talking about communicating with the employees you hope to keep and continue to interview for open positions. If you are still swamped with your workload, new training, and interested in a hire, it may be time to partner with a recruiter who is solely focused on filling your positions.

future of mining

The Future of Mining: 4th Quarter and Beyond

future of mining

It’s been quite an exciting year so far in the mining industry. We have seen West Texas and the Permian Basin blow up as prime real estate for Frac companies. We’ve seen mines and mills reopen across the country and a documented 55,000 new jobs created this year alone in the mining industry.

Recruiting in mining and heavy industrial gives me a unique perspective on things. While I’m not in a mine every day like some of my candidates, I get to experience industry trends. I hear first-hand from candidates and hiring managers on their wants, needs, and changes within their organization.

The future of mining

The most significant trend I’ve noticed throughout the year is the growing number of mining jobs. With more mining jobs being created, the talent market begins to tighten. And companies that aren’t preparing to follow this trend are finding it harder and harder to attract top talent. I have witnessed first-hand candidates receiving significantly higher salaries for the same positions than previous years.

Progressive companies are landing candidates by noticing these trends and going after the candidates they desperately need. I have also seen companies take months to extend offers to candidates, and as a result, they seem to be consistently losing out on the best candidates on the market.

This year has flown by, but it’s not too late for companies to adapt to fast-pace hiring. In fact, during the Fourth Quarter, this is an ideal time for organizations to change hiring processes to match the competing companies and start preparing for 2019. The mining industry added over 106,000 jobs since October 2016, and by the looks of things, it doesn’t appear mining and heavy industrial companies will be slowing down anytime soon. As I wrap up a few continuous improvement engineering positions, I can’t help but urge employers to reduce downtime in their hiring process in an effort to boost their overall production.

If your organization needs help finding talent in this tight market, let’s have a conversation. I can help your team find the qualified candidate you need to finish the year off strong.