A golden internship

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2002

This summer I was lucky enough to become Greens Creek Mine's Human Resources Summer Intern. Before this summer the "gold" mine in Juneau's backyard was a mystery to me. Over the past two months I have joined the 270 employees who wake up at 4 in the morning to catch the 5 a.m. boat to Admiralty Island.

My experience out at the mine has been pure education in action. I have learned so much about the mining process at Greens Creek, and how much mining plays a role in my everyday life. I also have been able to use many skills that I learned in high school.

Mining has so many steps that I couldn't explain it to you on all the sheets of this newspaper. Over the course of my two-month internship I was able to watch ore, the rock with metal in it, become a concentrate and be loaded on a ship for a smelter. I have seen many pieces from "behind the scenes" (human resources, geology, accounting, and entertaining). The whole time my experience was hands-on, and if I had a question employees would go out of their way to explain things to me.

To many people, mining might not be the prettiest of industries, but I know that at Greens Creek they are very environmentally conscious.

Out of my day there are so many things that contain the metals that we mine (not to count other metals and mined minerals not from Greens Creek) that I realize mining is an essential everyday part of my life. Without silver we couldn't take pictures. Pennies are mostly made out of zinc, as well as the "non-rusting" parts in our cars, which is very important in Juneau.

As far as using high school skills - well, I took a business class, which helped my typing skills. I also was fortunate enough to give a presentation, for "Family Day at the Mine," which I learned how to use in school. Having given the speech at graduation, it was easy for me to speak to the seemingly small crowd of 50.

Over all I couldn't have asked for a better summer job. I would like to thank the people of Kennecott Minerals and Greens Creek for the best summer job that I could ask for. Michelle Zenger, Ron Plantz, Keith Marshall, Greg Majeran, Al Morrison, Steve Kirsh, Matt Gili, Bill Scheding, Don Williams, Joey Williams, Bill Orchow, Jody Dillon, Bill Renfer and Bob Spross are just a few of the many people who changed my life.

Kari Urata


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