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Aaron Pezzaniti

Having the opportunity to work at Sunrise Dam has developed my survey and mining knowledge to a point that would’ve been unattainable to achieve through study alone and has given me invaluable experience that will stick for the rest of my career.

What's your job about?

Sunrise Dam is a large scale underground gold mine that consists of multiple working areas and surface works that make a surveyors job interesting with no two days being the same. On a normal day, underground the main tasks completed are installing lasers, doing scans of large voids, installing survey control and marking up rings for drilling. There is a very good balance between the office, underground and surface work which includes flying a drone for ROM stockpile volumes, monitoring of the mill, and some civil works. As a surveyor at Sunrise Dam, I have been able to help implement a monitoring solution for the tailings dam, start pre-works for a primary survey control expansion and complete extensive traversing underground. Having the opportunity to work at Sunrise Dam has developed my survey and mining knowledge to a point that would’ve been unattainable to achieve through study alone and has given me invaluable experience that will stick for the rest of my career.

What's your background?

I’m born and raised in Perth, WA and lived north of the river my whole life. I graduated from Sacred Heart College in 2013 with a Cert. 4 in business and then went to WAAPA to study a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Music Technology. At school I was in multiple bands and won several statewide awards across a few genres, during and after school I was producing music and played some shows in Perth and in Sydney. After studying music for a year I decided it wasn’t for me, had a gap year and as a strong believer of lifelong learning and personal development I started studying surveying mid-2016. 

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Anyone hardworking, fast learning and who likes a fast-paced environment would be able to handle mine surveying. You also need to appreciate a job that is both inside the office and out in the field (underground or surface) and has no problems with being out and about. Some of the skills you require are time management, mental arithmetic, problem-solving, quick and deep thinking and good interpersonal skills.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

No two days are the same and there are always new challenges to solve and issues to overcome which make every day interesting and different. I personally enjoy control establishment, traversing and laser installation the most, though racing heavy equipment and being able to complete multiple tasks in a day make it all exciting and demanding at the same time. It can be quite rewarding to see the outcome of your hard work and being a surveyor you see and take part in the full mining process from exploration to extraction.

What are the limitations of your job?

As a surveyor, you hold quite a lot of responsibility as the role is depended on by many departments including engineering, geology, mining, geotechnical, metallurgy, safety and corporate. At some point, you will have something to do with almost every department in the mining department and have to work on relationships and customer relations with all stakeholders. The role can be very demanding and stressful at times but if you have good time management and able to handle these sorts of environments it can be a very rewarding career. The job can be physically demanding at times and you work 12 hour days which at the start is relatively difficult but you quickly get used to it, especially with 6 days off for every 8 days you work!

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

Some advice I would have given to myself as a student would be to stress a little less and to always keep my eyes on the end goal, not on the never-ending exams and assignments. I would also tell myself to jump in to work experience as early as possible to start applying the knowledge learnt during study. This not only consolidates it but also helps to build critical habits and other skills unable to be taught at university or TAFE.