Mining Program Receives Second Year of Funding to Enhance Training Opportunities for Indigenous Learners

Northern College News and Events

MATHESON, ON: Northern College, Primero and Wahgoshig First Nation are delighted to confirm they will continue their partnership in order to provide Indigenous people from across the region the opportunity to earn an Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core certification not far from their communities. The partnership will see two new deliveries of Northern College’s Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program onsite at Primero’s Black Fox Complex, located just outside of Matheson, with curriculum and instructors provided by Northern College.

“Building upon the success from the first two intakes, we are very fortunate to be able to offer two more intakes of this innovative training opportunity for local Indigenous learners,” says Christine Heavens, Executive Director, Community, Business Development and Employment Services at Northern College. “Our partnership with Primero and Wahgoshig First Nation reflects our commitment to providing innovative education and training opportunities for Indigenous learners.”

The modular training program tailored to Indigenous learners will cover the knowledge and skills required to work competently in an Underground Hard Rock Mine.
“Primero is very happy to be able to continue the partnership with Wahgoshig and Northern College and participate in the Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core training program. It is a great program and enables us to keep developing the miners of the future,” said Dan Gagnon, General Manager at Primero Black Fox Mine. “We are soon beginning our 3rd intake and have been able to hire some recent Wahgoshig graduates who are doing a great job for us at the Black Fox Mine and who seem to be really enjoying working in the mining Industry.”

Only seven indigenous candidates per intake will be selected to participate in the 14-week delivery. The program is being offered tuition free, thanks to funding provided by Ontario’s Aboriginal Economic Development Fund.


Picture taken of participants from the first Northern, Primero and Wahgoshig Common Core Program intake in 2015. Pictured (left to right): Sam Nadon, Amy Sackaney, Peter Poulin and Samantha James.

The next intake for the Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program will be starting August 8, 2016. Indigenous learners interested in taking this program are invited to attend one of two information sessions being held this month. The first session will be held on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at 10 am, at the Wahgoshig Community Centre, and the second session will be held on Monday, July 18, 2016, at 10 am, at Northern’s Timmins Campus in room G130.

For more information about the upcoming Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core program at Primero’s Black Fox Complex, contact Northern Training Division, by phone at 705-235-3211 ext. 2174 or by email at

Media Contact:

Mélanie Watson
Marketing and Communications Officer
705.235.3211 x2276