Humble Beginnings to Hollywood Gold
The hit television show Gold Rush has done a lot for Dave Turin in the last few years. Gold Rush, which just wrapped up its fifth season on the Discovery Channel, has become Friday night’s most watched cable program, racking in nearly 5.5 million viewers. The show has helped Turin become an American sensation. The rapid climb to success, however, didn’t happen overnight.
Behind the scenes
Originating from Sandy, Oregon, Turin’s spent the last 24 years managing a family-owned rock quarry business with his father and three brothers.
After finishing his Civil Engineering degree from Portland State University, Turin joined his father and brothers in the paving business. He credits his father for his entrepreneurial spirit.
“My father was a high-school teacher growing up. To keep us boys out of trouble he started a paving company. It became pretty successful so he quit teaching,” Turin recalls.
“My Dad is a risk taker and he instilled that in me. I mean, he had six children and he quits his stable job to start a paving company.”
Turin spent the next two decades managing the family-owned rock quarry plant until six years ago when he received a phone call.
“I get a call from Todd and Jack Hoffman to be an outside consultant at their Porcupine Creek claim,” explains Turin. “They needed help with their wash plant and they asked me take a look. That’s how it started.”
Inspired by the Hoffman’s dream of mining for gold, Dave was offered the chance to join the team full time. He hasn’t looked back since.
Natural born leader
Despite not having years of experience in mining, Turin makes up for it with his expertise in earthworks. He has over two decades experience operating construction equipment safety and effectively, and there isn’t a piece of machinery he isn’t qualified to operate. However, it’s his natural leadership ability that solidifies his importance.
“At a very young age my Dad saw leadership qualities in me,” explains Turin. “He made me the paving boss when I was senior in High School because he could see my potential. That’s how I view people. I think when you see the potential in people, rather than the negatives, you have the patience to train them accordingly.”
Turin’s guidance has made him a vital asset to the Hoffman crew, as well as the TV series. Most notably with Kevin Hyatt, a previous electrical lineman and garbage collector. With the patience and knowledge of Turin, Hyatt has become an accomplished miner.
“That’s one of the things I love to do; taking young men and teaching them to become great. I enjoy watching them take off.”
According to Turin, gold mining requires several things to be successful including hard work, resiliency, and most importantly, understanding of surroundings.
“I’ve been around too many miners and operators that focus in on what’s right in front of them. They don’t see what’s to their left or to their right. When that happens, they’re dangerous. That’s the one thing I always stress with my guys, especially because we have these camera guys darting in and out.”
Not surprising, the filming of the show requires Mr. Miyagi –like concentration for the gold miners.
“Being on the show can be very stressful, however, I believe it makes us better miners and operators,” says Turin. “We can focus on the task at hand while also being aware of our surrounding and knowing where the cameramen are at all times. It makes for great training.”
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.