London – 1 December 2020: Women in Mining UK (WIM) 2020 Summer Internship at Altus Strategies
Written by Olivia Gubbins
This summer I was offered an Exploration Geology internship with Altus Strategies, a mining royalty company generating a diversified and precious metal focused portfolio of assets in Africa. The internship was through a partnership Altus formed with Women in Mining UK. The past two months have been an excellent opportunity for me to use and build on my skills from university in an industry setting.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, I have been working remotely from home. Daily team calls make a big difference in feeling connected and part of the team, and have made the remote experience enjoyable. It has been motivating working in a fast-pace environment, with a diversity of projects, and seeing decision-making and new business avenues explored. I find the multidisciplinary nature of the work, integrating both academic and practical elements really interesting.
My role undertaking desk-based exploration has varied day to day, from research, to report writing, to GIS. My main project for the first month was carrying out a country review, which covers all preliminary background data required prior to exploring in a new country – such as geology and geography to mining legislation and political situation. This technical-style report involved sourcing and interpreting data to suggest potential new exploration targets, allowing for strategic decision making at Board level in consideration of new business opportunities.
I’ve since been working with the exploration team to prioritise target areas for potential licence applications in existing countries of operation, using new geological and geophysical data. This has involved digitising key geological features and creating maps using remote sensing and geological data. Interpretations from this map work, alongside a mineral systems approach, allows for identification of new targets for exploration. This has culminated in presenting to the team priority recommendations based on my analysis of multiple datasets and key targeting criteria.
For the more advanced stage projects, I’ve been involved in the targeting and drill planning strategy meetings. Alongside these, we have ad hoc toolbox style talks covering technical topics from magnetic interpretation to drill planning. It’s been great to learn from experts and to share and discuss ideas on projects.
As well as exploration geology, it’s been really beneficial for me to understand the business model, see how the company operates, and learn more about corporate development. The internship has given me exposure to the corporate side through research on investment opportunities to expand Altus’ portfolio. It has also given me insight into the management aspects of the company, through working with other team members and assisting with administrative tasks.
I’m delighted that following this WIM UK internship, I will be continuing to work with Altus. It has been a really rewarding experience and I’m looking forward to carrying on.
Having just completed my Masters in Exploration Geology, it’s been very satisfying to apply my knowledge and skills in an industry setting. Thanks to Women in Mining UK for partnering with Altus Strategies to offer such an opportunity so early on in my career.