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Student experiences during the Polyus Magadan internship scheme

Student experiences during the Polyus Magadan internship scheme

Polyus Magadan has given 32 students the chance to reinforce their theoretical knowledge with first-hand experience as interns at the Natalka mine.

As well as gaining practical skills, some of the interns may earn an even better reward: the best candidates will be offered jobs after their internships end.

The reason this is possible is due to the «Know the Worth of Gold» corporate program, which was implemented several years ago. It aims to prepare young enthusiasts for professional life and helps them adapt to working in operational environments. Polyus plays an active role in the program, working with educational institutions; this year, students from Saint Petersburg Mining University, the Mining and Construction College, the State Ural Mining University, the Federal Siberian University and the State Exploration University of Russia have all completed internships.

Due to the pandemic, only a few students were able to visit Polyus Magadan physically, so the Company arranged alternatives for those unable to visit.

The in-person internships are held at the Natalka mine, where interns are able to experience the realities of their potential future occupations. They watch exploration activities and visit the open pit mine. The interns also went to the drilling and blasting areas where specialists such as surveyors, geologists and processing plant staff work.

All site visits began with a briefing on health and safety measures, conducted by department specialists. While at the operations, each intern is assigned with a mentor for the duration of the program who helps them to gather data, adjust to the environment and learn the rules and how to work safely. An initial briefing is held at the site as soon as the interns arrive. At the end of the internship, they sit a HSE exam followed by a demonstration of professional activities under supervision.

Alexander Nikulin and Vladimir Krivoruchko are students at the Severo-Vostochny State University and currently completing their internships at Natalka. They have been engaged in surveying and siting the mine openings and drilling boreholes, outlining ore bodies and monitoring the design parameters of mine openings. Alexander and Vladimir have consolidated their theoretical knowledge on open pit mining.

Vladislav Dovzhenko, Internship Lead and Site Surveyor at Polyus Magadan, stated that the students proved themselves to be competent individuals, learning how to survey using the Topcon satellite geodesy tool and Sokkia robotic electronic tacheometer. Vladislav commented:

«We process raw measurement data using the Autocad Civil 2021 software. I recommend that our interns develop spatial thinking. Alexander and Vladimir have been recommended for next-year’s training programs at the Surveying Department at Polyus Magadan».

Vladimir Krivoruchko decided to undergo the internship at Polyus Magadan because he considers the Company a solid and attractive prospective employer, stating, «I believe I have achieved a great deal, I learnt a lot including how to use some of the equipment. It was helpful to finally see and try it out after three years of studying theory. I mainly performed surveying work, breaking down the terrain in and around the pit. I also monitored the development of the pit every day, as well as incorporating all the data into the mine’s plan. I am really impressed and very happy with my internship. Everything is explained clearly and I received answers to all of my questions. The accommodation and other amenities are also very comfortable. This is a huge advantage for me!»

Students that were unable to attend their internships in-person were asked to prepare qualifying papers based on operational and production data. They submitted flowsheets and other documents to the Magadan Polytech College for the future mineral processing engineers. Dmitry Kharakhulakh, Beneficiation Group Lead, and Andrey Aleksandrenko, Operations Director at Polyus Magadan, also held classes for the interns.

For some of the students, it was their second time taking part in the Polyus Magadan internship program. This includes Alexander Nikulin, from Severo Vostochny University, and Mikhail Krasikov, Saint Petersburg University. Senior students are regularly invited to attend for a second time, however due to the pandemic and the break in studying many were unable to graduate so could not attend.

Alexander Ognev, Managing Director of Polyus Magadan, commented:

«We love to see our former interns return as new permanent team members. We are interested in encouraging young enthusiasts who are eager to gain more knowledge and experience and become professionals. Through our mentorship program, we are able to give them our full support. We developed this to give all committed individuals a chance to grow into professionals».