Are you a retired policeman? Maybe a strong fellow who likes guns? Or a smart strategist (female) who seeks excitement? Do you want to balance human rights and the security and safety of mine workers from thugs and violence? If the answer to any of these or a thousand other questions is yes, then consider becoming a security officer on a mine.
Nobody is sure of why they killed the innocents. Some say it was a political statement. Some say they are from a tribe up the road that engages in violence for hire. And that the local opposition hired them to embarrass the mine and the incumbent political parties.
Some say it was religion–the local priest opposes mining and the enlightenment of the young that accompanies money. Presumably, he cares not to have them able—rather ignorant and beholden to the church for the truth..
Some say they were protecting their water quality—which is not true as they are upgradient of the mine and water does not flow uphill.
Any way, they came and engaged a few times in violence. They have killed local workers employed to install poles to bring power to the mine. And so now there are generators on site and the trucks with diesel will drive through many distant village. God forbid they highjack such a truck and set it alight. I wonder which American church is funding them. Or maybe it is just a Hollywood celebrity.
The point is that being a security officer for a mine is no sinecure. Mines do get attack; miners do get shot and killed; and people hide in the hill to shoot at helicopters bringing explosives to the mine.
I see my friends at EduMine are putting on a live course on the topic–see this link. It will cost at least $3,000 to attend, but that is cheap by comparison with the death at the hands of thugs of two young men.
Here is how they describe the course:
Health and safety impacts of conflict, violence and human-rights abuse linked to security operations: these are some of the most severe outcomes that extractive industries face in international communities. In addition to their human toll, they can cause significant damage to company reputation worldwide. International attention focuses on these risks through International Finance Corporation Performance Standard 4 on Community Health, Safety and Security; the Equator Principles; and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR). However, managing them can be a serious challenge for operations managers and corporate directors due to gaps in knowledge and best practices.
This course will:
- Share leading practices associated with: strategic social management; security and human rights, and; community health and safety.
- Examine underappreciated drivers of conflict and community health impacts.
- Explore the linkage between community safety and company security.
- Examine critical due diligence processes and assessments associated with community health, safety and security.
It seems the course authors believe that if you do good by local communities they will be nice to you in return. Of course that is nonsense. They forget the tribal instinct: you may be able to placate the local tribe around the mine. But you cannot placate or bribe all the tribes in the vicinity of the mine. Some tribes just live upgradient or too far away to be valid recipients of mining largesse.
You cannot possible make ever tribe in the wider circle of the mine benefit. Some will be left out and they will be jealous & furious. They will fall prey to churches, charities, and celebrities and they will be paid & supported to protest. For there are international groups with lots of money that will do whatever it takes to embarrass mines.
I have been contacted often by folk asking if I will, for large sums or pro bono, provide professional advice to oppose mining. I am sometimes tempted for the insight to the thinking of these opposers is a fascinating topic—I might even get something to blog about.
I have not done it, for there is inevitable a conflict of interest: the mine’s consultants are friends; I work for the mining group; or I simply do not concur with the NGOs position.
Still, the job of the mine’s security office and the security staff must be fun. I have seen and talked to many: they strut in official uniforms and check your credentials before letting you on the mine; they search the vehicle as you try to exit the mine; they install scanners and metal detectors.; they look to the transport of gold, diamonds, and concentrate through violent villages and along lonely roads.
They have to balance police reports before allowing you on site (the northern Canadian diamond mines.) They have to train raw recruits to carry, but not use, guns (Guatemala.) They have to vet contractors installing barbed wire fences. And they have to negotiate with the government to provide soldiers.
It is no coincidence that they sometimes get it wrong. It is a volatile & violent world out there, particularly around and at mine. Still if you are fascinated by these things, this is the job for you. Take a look at Infomine’s CareerMine. I see adverts for 35 jobs in security in places from Saskatchewan to Botswana.