Sheri Samson
Kinross Gold Corporation’s Danny Buelna, Alex Burroughs, Bryon Bisiaux and Daniel Dobson screened applicants at the company’s job fair in Hawthorne last week.

As the Canadian-owned Kinross Gold Corporation experienced expansion at their Round Mountain Gold Corporation facility in Nevada, a group of employees from the mining operation came to Hawthorne for a job fair, bringing many applicants to the convention center for interviews. Hosted by the Mineral County Economic Development office, tables were full of potential candidates filling out forms for available mining jobs.

By horseback, you could’ve headed northeast in a straight line to find these mines actively worked, but by car, it is at least a two-hour loop, just 55 miles north of Tonopah. Since 1906, original, underground mines pulled gold from the Round Mountain ground, but methods converted to open-pit mining over the past years. In over 60 years this mine pulled 350,000 ounces of gold and endless amounts of silver and more from this location alone. An aerial view of Round Mountain Gold reveals a massive stretch of land that wraps into encircled, oblong lines in an enormous shell shape – proof of a vital mining operation.

Alex Burroughs from their human resources department shared that the benefit packages, pay structure and longevity of employment seems to be the draw for most employees that happily remain. She stated that many of the employees have over 38 years in. “As with any company, some retire, so there are spots to fill from the bottom and up, as experience is considered.”

Daniel Dobson, raised in Hawthorne during his elementary years, shared that his skill set was taught from the basics, gradually leading him into his current position as drilling and blasting supervisor.

Danny Buelna, electrical and general foreman, shared that many employees come to work from as far away as Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. These employees live in the local town of Hadley in shared rentals or travel trailers and due to their work schedules. Most will travel home just once a month.

Mine Department Supervisor, Bryan Bisiaux, was pleased to see a waiting line outside the USO building as they pulled up to begin interviews at 10 a.m. “There were already over 14 applicants waiting for us to open and get going, so that was a good indication that our four- hour job fair would yield some strong applicants. We like to see a strong response to our job openings.”

Several applicants admitted leaving the construction field, with one applicant from Tonopah stating, “It’s time for me to stop building patios and build some retirement. I want to work my way up with a secure company like this while I’m still young.”

Local applicant, Ken Johnson, stated that his father, Raymond Johnson, had worked for Round Mountain Gold, eight to ten years ago. “I walked over today and I was glad that Hope Blinco from the school’s district office had told me about this job fair. It’s great how people work together and try to help each other out.”

Applicants were given professional brochures regarding the Kinross Corporation, with open access to ask questions. Attending Round Mountain employees were on hand to assist applicants and review their forms. The Kinross brochure stated Round Mountain Gold to be “one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world.”