Students in the Summer: Ben Jones

September 20, 2022

Students in the Summer: Ben Jones

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Ben Jones in reflective safety gear underground with headlamp light
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M.S. student Ben Jones shares his experience below about his summer in the Southwest:

 

Hillsboro, New Mexico:

My summer began in Hillsboro, New Mexico, within the Copper Flat Porphyry-Breccia system where I participated in the Society of Economic Geologists Michael J. Fitzgerald Student Mapping Course

Over this past summer of 2022, I had the opportunity to gain extensive experience in both exploration and production geology as they relate to the mining and minerals industry.  My summer began in Hillsboro, New Mexico, within the Copper Flat Porphyry-Breccia system where I participated in the Society of Economic Geologists Michael J. Fitzgerald Student Mapping Course.  During the weeklong field course, I mapped the rock and alteration types, faults, and veinlets of the Copper Flat system at a detailed (1:240 and 1:480) scale.  Structures such as the faults and veinlets were plotted on stereonets to assess the dominant structural orientations and “Titley Squares” were used to collect quantitative measurements of barren and mineralized veinlets to determine fracture density.  In addition to daily field activities, I had the opportunity to attend evening lectures focused on porphyry related geochemistry such as their alteration-mineralization assemblages.

Northern Nevada:

After completion of the field course, I headed out to northern Nevada where I worked for Nevada Gold Mines as an Underground Geology Intern at their Goldstrike Operation

After completion of the field course, I headed out to northern Nevada where I worked for Nevada Gold Mines as an Underground Geology Intern at their Goldstrike Operation.  Throughout my employment I was assigned two independent studies, one on ore density and the other on QAQC sampling.  The ore density study involved weighing and scanning over 120 haul trucks to better understand ore density throughout the mine.  I used this data to calculate a new tonnage factor that Nevada Gold Mines can use to maximize their ore tons.  My QAQC project involved collecting stope hole drilling samples where I analyzed variances in grade to determine more effective ways to implement QAQC practices that will maximize ounces produced in the future.  My study led to finding over an additional 1,200 ounces of gold in the stope analyzed.  Along with these projects, I had the opportunity to spend many hours with ore control mapping active headings underground and in DeswikCAD, as well as learning how ore and waste are forecasted and routed throughout the mine.  Finally, I designed 3 PowerPoints on ore density, QAQC sampling, and my summer experience which I presented to geologists, engineers, operators, and mine management.