First Group of Indigenous Students Graduate from Northern College Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core Program

Northern College News and Events

Wahgoshig, ON: Northern College, in partnership with Wahgoshig First Nation and Primero Mining Corp held a celebration in Wahgoshig First Nation on Friday December 18 for the first of two groups of indigenous students who graduated from the Haileybury School of Mines Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program.  Successful graduates now have the basic knowledge and skills to become miners, working effectively and safely in the mining industry.

The Basic Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program includes 12 weeks of training delivered by Northern College at the Primero Mine Black Fox Mine Site.  This modular training program covered areas of competency as listed in the MTCU Modular Training Standards Certification Program.  Participants also received an additional 10 days of soft skills and safety training to increase their marketability after the program.

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The 5 students graduating from this intake are excited about the new opportunities available to them.   “With my classmates and instructor, we’ve been able to produce ore tonnage from our own heading,” said Samantha James, graduate of the Basic Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program. “ We’ve installed ground support using a stoper, mucked out using a two yard scoop, drilled on the face using a jackleg and tied in and loaded our own blasts.  With this training, our opportunities for employment are vast.”

“This world-renowned program offered through our collaborative partnership with Wahgoshig First Nation, and Primero Mining Corp will help provide these graduates with the competitive advantage when applying for mine positions.” says Christine Heavens, Executive Director, Community, Business Development and Employment Services at Northern College. “

Two intakes of the Basic Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program were funded by the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund. The program provides high skills training for Indigenous people in the area.  The skills acquired through this program will provide the participants with increased employment opportunities in the mining sector.  This program allows Indigenous participants to qualify for jobs in the mining sector that may earn them $60,000 to $100,000 annually.

For more information about the program, or to enroll, please contact Cora-Lee Morin, Program Assistant at Northern College, by phone at 705-235-3211 ext.2174 or by email at

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