Kyle Buckoll's story
When Kyle Buckoll was offered the opportunity to work at a Glencore mine anywhere in the world he didn't have to think twice about the answer. His comeback was an enthusiastic yes, taking him on an exciting adventure in the Australian outback.
Kyle grew up just outside of Vancouver in Maple Ridge a town with a population of around 75,000 people which he thought was small until he started travelling and working in mining towns. He started his mining career in 2009 and signed-on at Glencore's Kidd Mine in Canada back in 2010 and worked there in a variety of capacities until his secondment to Australia.
One of the first four to participate in the International Secondment Program for Zinc Assets Australia, Kyle arrived in Mount Isa in September 2015. Initially commencing as an Engineer in Technical Services at George Fisher Mine, Kyle quickly demonstrated why he was chosen for the program when he was appointed Senior Production Engineer while also providing technical and operational coverage for the Superintendent of Production.
Kyle says meeting and working with a very young, enthusiastic, open-minded team of people has been the best part about his secondment, although not having to pre-start a ute at minus 50 degrees celsius ranks highly too. One of the key highlights has been his involvement in a large production project at George Fisher.
"The project was aimed at revamping the Drill and Blast space to deliver more technically designed blasts that produced an improved consistent product at a much lower cost. The project has been a huge success and has assisted George Fisher to deliver better results at a significantly lower cost structure to the underground loader fleet," Kyle says.
The International Secondment Program not only allows individuals to grow professionally but also personally through cultural experiences. Kyle came to Australia with his partner Haley who has also integrated into the mining community by taking up a position at Spinifex State College teaching year seven Math and Science.
They have embraced the singlet and thong lifestyle of the Australian outback, and Kyle says the ability to always enjoy the sun and be outdoors is amazing. He will take home with him many memorable experiences from roughing it up in a game of Aussie Rules footy to a bit of off road four wheel driving, glitzing it up at the Arabian Nights Charity Fundraiser, getting track side for an afternoon of outback horse racing and watching all the thrills and spills of the world class rodeo action at our iconic Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo.
On reflection of his time here, Kyle says the opportunity to work in Australia has given him a greater perspective of global mining practices.
"Being exposed to new ideas, challenges and opportunities has allowed me to grow and mature both professionally and personally over my 16 month secondment. I look forward to utilising a more comprehensive leadership, operational and technical tool set when returning to Canada and throughout my career."