The highlight for us during the PDAC mining conference this year was a fireside chat with Shane Williams, CEO of West Red Lake Gold (TSXV:WRLG).

Over a couple glasses of fine Irish whisky Shane discussed the state of the mining industry and the opportunity for young people to make an impact in a vital pillar of the global economy.

Shane has a strong track record as an efficient mine builder, an engineer who found his calling building mines around the world. Prior to his current role at West Red Lake Gold, he was the COO for Skeena Resources where he advanced the past producing Eskay Creek Gold project towards restart.

During his time at Eldorado Gold (2013-2019) as VP of Operations and Capital Projects, he took the Lamaque Gold project from Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) to commercial operation in 18-months – a remarkable achievement in the current operating mining environment.

At Rio Tinto in his role as Project Director he successfully brought the open-pit Kaunis Iron project in Northern Sweden from early exploration into commercial operation over a rapid 3.5 year period.

Shane is a passionate about promoting the mining industry to a younger generation. Mining is facing looming employment crisis with a serious shortage of new talent required to replace old workers.

In a recent study McKinsey found that there’s been a -39% drop in mining engineering graduates since 2016 in the US, and a 63% drop in Australia.

The technologies that power the future are underpinned by mining, significant opportunities lay ahead for next generation – to explore the world and make great money doing it.

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