Work in NWT's resource extractions industry

Program: Surface Miner



Program length: 12 Weeks

Start date: Contact Registrar


  • Aurora College Certificate of Achievement


  • Classroom
  • Field-based Training

Program Description

The 12-week (360 hours) Surface Miner Program will provide participants with entry-level knowledge, skills and attitudes outlined in the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MIHR) National Occupational Standards for Surface Miners. In this practical, hands-on program, students will be introduced to surface mining operations and mine equipment operation in northern, cold-weather environments, using both mining equipment and simulators. The course content focuses on surface mining operations, mine safety and mobile mine equipment operation. Course delivery will have both a classroom-based and practical component including learning on simulators and at the Aurora College open pit training facility.

Program Eligibility

To be considered for the program, applicants must meet each of the criterion listed below:

  • Minimum 18 years of age prior to commencement of the training program;
  • Minimum of Grade 9 Mathematics and English, and/or successful completion of Adult Literacy and Basic Education equivalencies with transcripts
  • Submission of a Criminal Records Check (applicants with a criminal record will be considered subject to a case-by-case review)
  • Completion of Aurora College Introduction to the Mining Industry Program

Employer Requirements

In addition, applicants should be aware that employers will generally be seeking Surface Miners who:

  • Meet the physical requirements to complete assigned duties as determined through approved medical testing
  • Are prepared to be away from their home communities during work rotations
  • Possess a valid driver’s licence (based on employer policies), and
  • Are able to meet drug screening requirements.

Applicant Assessment

Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements stated above.
Individual assessments and interviews may be required. Applicants in possession of letters of intent from prospective employers may receive preference.

Program Admission

Applicants will be admitted to the program based upon program eligibility and/or personal interviews.

Program Information

The Surface Miner Program is designed to give students a thorough and comprehensive introduction to surface mining operations. The program is based on 60 days at six hours per day, for a total of 360 hours over 12 weeks. It will be delivered at the Thebacha Campus in Fort Smith. Components of the program will include the use of simulators and on-site training at the Aurora College Open Pit Training Site.
The course material will focus on mine safety, surface mining operations and mobile mining equipment operation. Experiential learning activities will form a key component of the program, including simulator and mobile equipment operation. Students will learn to work with a partner and as part of a team. Attendance in both class and field activities is mandatory.

Program Objectives

The primary objective of the program is to produce job-ready, entry-level Surface Miner Trainees. Students will be exposed to “real life” surface mining situations through the use of mobile mining equipment and simulators. Instruction will include the use of mobile mining equipment, simulators, guest speakers from industry, classroom activities, etc.

Completion Requirements

Students must:

  • Complete all courses to the satisfaction of the instructors
  • Attend classes and adhere to both Aurora College and program specific policies

Document of Recognition

Aurora College Record of Achievement

Contact Aurora College for more information

How to apply

Participants must be registered with the Mine Training Society of the NWT to be considered for Aurora College Mining Programs.

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