Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core Students, Graduate from Funded Training Program

KIRKLAND LAKE, ON: Northern College Training Division, Haileybury School of Mines, and Keepers of the Circle held a ceremony for students who graduated from the Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core program Friday March 4th at the Keepers of the Circle Kirkland Lake Indigenous Hub.

The 10-week modular funded training program covers the basic knowledge and skills required to work in the diamond drilling industry and was completed by eight students from across Northern Ontario.

Students received hands-on learning at the College drill site and through placements at G4 Forage Drilling and RJLL Forage Drilling where students supported and operated drills. The program provides the trainees with experience working in an authentic drilling environment.

“This program has been a great success and we continue to improve the level of training by introducing new and relevant components,” stated Christine Heavens, Executive Director, Community, Business Development and Employment Services. “Offering students hands-on training in a variety of real working environments provides them with the specific skills and knowledge to work competently as an assistant to a Surface or Underground Diamond Drill Operator.”

Program topics focus on the latest in health and safety, use of equipment, current technologies, and environmental protection. The students also received safety training certificates including Propane Safety Awareness and Occupational Health and Safety for Workers.

Keepers of The Circle funded all eight student’s training as part of a Skills Development Fund project funded by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. Keepers of the Circle also provided supporting funds to help cover the student’s housing and food costs while completing their studies.

“We want to set our youth up to succeed in Northern Ontario, so we aim to help them to establish careers here,” stated Arlene Hache, Executive Director of Keepers of the Circle. “By funding their tuition, its puts money back into their pockets so they can focus on next steps after education.”

Representatives from all the organizations of the partnership programs attended the ceremony, including Northern College Training Division, Keepers of the Circle, Epiroc, Boart Longyear and Black Diamond Drilling.

The event featured a welcoming song and closing with the Flight of the Eagle song from Elder Sally Mathias, a prayer from Elder Mario Batisse Elders, along with speeches from Kelly Lamontagne, Project Coordinator, Pat Kiely, Kirkland Lake Mayor, Drew Enouy, Campus Manager for Northern College, and Robyn Gray, class Valedictorian.

“These last eight weeks have prepared us to become Diamond Driller Assistants, we are now prepared to join the workforce and be sure of what will be expected from us. This program provided us with placement opportunities where we had the chance to receive hands-on experience with the drill, which has even led to some offers of employment,” commented Robyn Gray, class Valedictorian. “Lastly, I would like to thank all the partners who made this possible and thank them for making this opportunity tuition-free.”

The next Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core program begins April 4, 2022, in Kirkland Lake. For more information about the program, or to enroll in the next intake, contact Northern Training Division, by email at diamonddrilling@northern.on.ca.


Cutline: Graduates of the Diamond Driller Assistant Common Core program at the Kirkland Lake campus. From left to right: Adam Lukowski, Timothy Solomon, Nicholas Hall, Jaeden Demontigny, Robyn Gray, Robert Lacasse (Program Instructor), Aspen Barbosa, Ryley Chubb

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