Here is a link to a good blog posting on working on a mine as a chemist. To encourage you to click the link and read the entire post, I quote here the first two paragraphs:
I am asked often why I chose to work in the mining industry. To tell the truth, it was the first job offer I had after graduating from university. I applied for chemistry related jobs when I was close to graduating with different companies. My best job applications I felt that I had put together the best were for an environmental consultancy laboratory and for a pharmaceutical company.
In 2004 I was not completely certain that I even wanted to get into mining. I grew up in a mining family. We moved from town to town during the recession in the 1990s. My father worked long hours involving shift work on a roster that required him to work 13 weeks. I hardly saw him and we had to be quieter than death when he slept during the day on weekends. I was not at all sure that I wanted to be part of this but the two week working roster and one week break sounded like paradise compared to what my father went through so I sent in my CV.
The writer of the blog is an Australian, named Magdeline Lum. Here is how she describes herself:
I have a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Graduate Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy. I’ve worked in several positions applying my Chemistry and Metallurgical knowledge before realising that what I loved the most about my jobs was talking to other people about the science that I was paid to do.
Most of her postings are on chemistry; sadly not much that I could find on mining and her work on mines.
For what it is worth, I note that on CareerMine there are at least 45 jobs in Australia for people like her. Mostly jobs in the milling and processing part of the mine.
In Alaska earlier this year, I suggested at a round-table discussion on the topic of attracting more students to mining, and particularly women to mining, that they should go out to the chemical department at the local university. This idea had not occurred to the human resource and communications types running the program. The blog above should be mandatory reading for them. I will watch it in future.