first_imgIn order to help ensure that sufficient qualified miners are always available locally, Aurcana through its wholly owned subsidiary Rio Grande Mining Co, operator of the Shafter mine, has partnered with the local school board in Presidio, Texas and have jointly set up a mining school. This has been greeted with significant interest and support from the local community. The first group of locally trained miners is expected to begin working at Shafter in August and will work alongside the existing experienced miners. See http://vimeo.com/70990706Workers are in high demand at the old Shafter Silver Mine, so they’re working with Presidio ISD to train recent graduates. The Shafter mine has called Presidio home since the 1860s, now it is pushing to recruit new local workers, but it’s still a dangerous business.“Safety is always first. You go back to step one, I’m going to come out alive, watch out for number one which is you.” said Shafter Mine Supervisor and Training Instructor Manny Alvarado. More than 230 m below the surface in 3 km of tunnels at Shafter mine, miners take risks to earn an honest living.“We’re talking about rocks coming down, tripping hazards, improper lifting, staying out of the way of heavy equipment,” Alvarado said.“When you’re drilling, rocks can come down,” said Presidio Graduate and Shafter Mine Trainee Victor Hernandez. “Any size of rocks, big size, small rocks, you have no idea what can come down. I’ve seen rocks as big as that table.”He’s one of the first in a four-week training program taught at Presidio ISD and inside the mine.Now one of the biggest fears about working in a mine is getting trapped down here, but this is not your grandfather’s mine, new technology has opened the door for safety measures like a refuge chamber which can keep 20 men safe and fed in the event of a collapse for up to two weeks.“I thought it was smaller, dusty, muddy a really tiny space to work in,” Hernandez said. “But actually my first day here was amazing because I saw that it was nothing like what I had in mind.”“We train and teach some of the students and offer them something different for those who don’t want to go to the college level,” said Supervisor of Human Resources for Shafter Mine Phillip Aguilar. “We talked about developing a program that will help high school students find a career.”last_img read more