Huw Richards

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Other Industries
Job title: Management Trainee
Subject of study: Mining Geology
Year of graduation: 2016
Type/Level of study: Post graduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Nordgold

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Immediately after completing my degree, I entered full-time employment with Altus Strategies, UK-based but Africa-focused multi-commodity exploration company that I had not only interned previously for but also undertaken my MSc research project with. As a geologist within their Exploration team, my role involved a blend of field- and office-work, with the former giving me the opportunity to initially support and later design and manage exploration programmes across the company’s diversified portfolio (incl. Ethiopia, Liberia, Morocco and Mali), whilst from the latter gaining exposure to the firm’s corporate and business development. As my first was a great way to develop a wide range of technical and commercial skills, After 4 years, in August 2020, I then moved to join Nordgold as a Management Trainee on the company’s fast track leadership development programme where I have been working within the Geology department (primarily within exploration thus far) as well as on a variety of business improvement projects.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

For me, aside from the travel opportunities and attractive salaries the mining industry offers, the aspect I most enjoy about exploration geology is the sense of discovery: essentially being able to use a systematic series of geoscientifically-grounded methods in order to test a hypothesis and, hopefully(!), discover new occurrences of mineralisation that no one has found before!

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

During my time at Exeter, I was a member of the Society of Economic Geologist student chapter, which provided a number of career-development and networking opportunities, as well as the 1st XI Hockey team, being able to play at a competitive level across the southwest and in the annual Bottle Match against RSM.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

One of the aspects I appreciated the most about the course (and CSM as a whole) was the strong industrial / vocational focus: many of the lecturers, the course content and tasks that were set were all tailored specifically to mining geology, and this equipped me exceedingly well for employment post-graduation [given how much steeper the learning curve would have been had I not completed the MSc and entered the workforce with knowledge from only a single mineral resources module during my undergraduate studies!]. The biggest highlight for me was the Spring-time fieldtrip giving students the option to visit multiple world-class sites across Australia, Namibia or Canada; each trip had a particular focus (e.g. open pit mining, exploration / remote sites or underground operations respectively, and given I hadn’t had much exposure to the latter, having the flexibility to choose that trip made the experience ‘fuller’ and, to a degree, somewhat customisable to suit your own interests or knowledge gaps.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I quite enjoyed the fact CSM was located on the small and ‘self-contained’ Penryn campus. Coming from Royal Holloway, a similarly small institution, I much preferred the smaller community and life-style that came with that.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I chose Exeter purely on the reputation of the Camborne School of Mines. Multiple people I had spoken to before enrolling, both from within industry as well as academia, highly recommended the school as being internationally-renowned and best-in-class within the UK higher education system for mining-focused education.

 

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