Full-time Diploma 6610diplt

Build Your Mining Career on a Rock-solid Base: Start Here... Go Anywhere

Note: This program has been renamed and restructured.

Please visit the new Diploma in Mineral Exploration and Mining Technology webpage for program information.

The Mining and Mineral Exploration Technology program focuses on geology, mining methods, exploration technology, surveying, and computer applications for mining operations and mineral explorations. Students learn hands-on science and engineering skills, and complete an industry-standard report during the second year of the full-time program.

We also offer a variety of part-time and online courses.

Mining is a cornerstone industry of many communities throughout BC and Canada and it is a major contributor to our economy. Canada is recognized as a world leader in mineral exploration and mining, and our expertise is exported around the world to help discover, develop, and operate mines.

As one of the largest users of high-technology equipment and applications, the mining industry requires practitioners who have the skills necessary to keep up with these advances. Virtually all technical jobs within mining and mineral exploration, including geology, engineering, mineral processing, environmental assessment and surveying, require post-secondary education.

If you are interested in a varied work environment, in the office, lab or field, and like solving scientific problems, this program will appeal to you. Take the Mining and Mineral Exploration Technology program, the only program of its kind in Western Canada.

View a career video.

Program Details

The curriculum is current, practical, intensive and broad-based. In the first year students receive training in basic science, math and communications as well as geology, mining methods, blasting, surveying and computer applications. In the second year the emphasis is on mining and the engineering and science skills required for the mining industry. The highlights of the second year include: a week of mine tours, a week's exploration field school and completion of a mining project report. The mining project integrates many of the courses taken during the second year into the development of an industry-standard report detailing a proposed new mine development plan.

The program is well supported by industry. This support exists through our advisory committee and through companies that hire our students as part of the Mining Industry Work Experience program.

Field trips are an integral part of the program and the cost of most field trips is supported by bursaries. Trips from one afternoon to seven days in length reinforce academic knowledge gained in the classroom and laboratory. Guest lectures, professional associations and conventions also provide opportunities for the students to interface with the mining world.

Keys to success

Most students find the Mineral Exploration and Mining Technology program to be demanding and that it requires a lot of hard work. However, the program is also enjoyable and rewarding. We find that students who attend all their classes, work hard, complete assignments on time, and have a good, positive attitude toward the program and industry are the most successful.

Some of the keys to student success are:

  • An interest in science and engineering
  • Well-developed study habits
  • Attendance at all classes
  • Work hard from the beginning
  • A keen interest and positive attitude
  • Participation in classes and industry activities

Mining Industry Work Experience Certificate

An optional work experience certificate course is available to students in the first year of the program. This course assists students in securing paid summer employment in the mining and minerals industry during the summer period between the first and second year of the program.

Graduating & Jobs

Job Opportunities

The mining industry is a diverse industry with a wide range of employment opportunities. Graduates have obtained employment in BC, elsewhere in Canada, the US and internationally. Jobs are located at mine sites, in remote exploration camps, in offices and labs. Jobs include working in the engineering, geology, surveying, blasting, environmental, mineral processing or management departments at mines, with geology crews in exploration, with engineering consulting companies, and at assay labs. Additionally, there are positions in technical sales and support with companies such as mining-related computer software developers, and blasting and equipment manufacturers. Some graduates have started their own consulting companies.

Some more benefits you can look forward to upon graduation:

Graduate employment outcomes

The following link takes you to graduate outcome survey results containing mostly labour market results from the 2011-2013 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2010-2012 Graduates.
Note: The survey results will be displayed in a separate browser window. To view these results, you need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Part-time and Online Studies

Are you interested in geology, mineral exploration and the mining industry? We offer a variety of continuing education courses from entry-level to professional.

The courses listed below are normally offered at least once a year. Please click on the course number to find out more details about each or to check if the course is currently being offered.

Face-to-Face Courses

  • MINE 1003 - Introduction to Prospecting and Exploration 1: Geology and Mineral Deposits
    Provides an introduction to geology and mineral deposits as it applies to prospecting and mineral exploration.
    Dates: normally offered in the winter or spring.
    Note: also offered in an online format.

  • MINE 1004 - Introduction to Prospecting and Exploration 2: Methods and Techniques
    Provides an introduction to the methods and techniques that are used in prospecting and exploring for mineral deposits.
    Dates: normally offered in the winter or spring after MINE 1003.

  • MINE 1005 - Prospecting and Exploration Field School
    Designed for prospectors, explorationists, students, field assistants, contractors and hobbyists as an introduction to field techniques used in prospecting and exploring for mineral deposits at a field school near Oliver in south-central BC.
    Information and Equipment List [PDF]
    Dates: normally offered in May.

  • MINE 1010 - Exploration and Mining for Investment Advisors and Investors
    Provides an overview of mineral exploration and mining for those in the financial industry and for investors. Covers a basic introduction to geology, mineral deposits, exploration techniques, drilling, resource and reserve estimates, exploration agreements and mining methods. Includes an overview of how to read technical news releases, understand drill and assay results and evaluate exploration properties and companies.
    Dates: normally offered once in the fall and once in the winter/spring.

  • Mine 1012 - Mining Law and Legal Agreements
    This course is geared towards both individuals that are new to the mining industry as well as experienced mining professionals that wish to obtain a better understanding of the key legal concepts and issues that impact upon their industry.
    Dates: this new course will be offered at least once per year.

  • MINE 1040 - Plant Layout Fundamentals
    Mining & Metals is an introduction to the business of designing a metal ore processing plant - from ore source to finished products. Specifically, it will provide a general understanding of ore processing circuits, how the major processing equipment is arranged within buildings, and the relative location of these buildings on a site layout of a typical large-scale copper processing plant.
    Dates: normally offered in the winter or spring.

Online Courses

  • MINE 1003 - Introduction to Prospecting and Exploration 1: Geology and Mineral Deposits
    Provides an introduction to geology and mineral deposits as it applies to prospecting and mineral exploration.
    Dates: normally offered in the winter or spring.

  • MINE 1100 - Introduction to the Minerals Industry
    This online course introduces students to the wide scope of the minerals industry and prepares them for further courses in mining. The course covers the breadth of the industry from mineral exploration through to processing and marketing of mining products. The history of mining is covered from early ages through to modern times. Considerations regarding the preservation of the natural environment and the concept of sustainable development are introduced. Throughout the course students will be introduced to the common names and terminology used in the industry.
    Dates: offered once per term.

  • MINE 1101 - Physical Geology
    Presents an overview of the processes and materials that form and shape the planet Earth. Online lab work includes rock and mineral description, examination of geological maps and structures, and study of geological processes.
    Dates: offered once per term.

  • MINE 2106 - Environmental Applications
    Provides an overview of environmental issues and practices that relate to the mining industry. The course includes an examination of baseline studies, the environmental assessment processes, environmental applications at operating mines, reclamation and closure.
    Dates: offered once per term.
    Note: students must have completed Mine 1100 prior to taking this course.

Check information on registration or contact Hao Wang at 604-451-7100

For information on course content, please contact Russell Hartlaub at 604-456-1094

Field School

The Oliver field school is an eight day field course that is part of the two-year Technology diploma program. It introduces students to a wide range of geological and mineral exploration field techniques. These techniques include

  • Basic field methods: compass use, map orientation, field notes, pace and compass, working with varied scales and keeping located in the field.
  • Geological field methods: strike and dip, sample collection, field description of rocks, minerals and formations, map making, field sketches, and preparing field cross-sections.
  • Exploration methods: prospecting, grids and grid mapping, tracing zones of mineralization, trenching, soil sampling, geophysics, exploration sampling, identification of mineralization, report preparation.

The school takes place in the spectacular Okanagan Valley of southern British Columbia. At the time of the field school in late April, the Okanagan valley experiences a brief period of lush growth and wildflowers are abundant in the barren to lightly treed hillsides. The weather is typically dry with daytime temperatures ranging from the low teens to low thirties (Celsius).

The field school course involves visiting 6 different sites for half-day exercises, followed by a 4-day mapping project in the historic Fairview Mining camp. The half day exercises include:

  • White Lake Basin volcanic and sedimentary rocks
  • Dusty Mac epithermal gold deposit
  • Vault epithermal gold deposit
  • Okanagan Gneisses at Vaseux Lake
  • Dividend-Lakeview copper-gold skarn deposit
  • Old Nick nickel-cobalt property

The Fairview mapping exercises take place in the historic Fairview gold mining camp that was active in the 1800's and early 1900's. The mapping project involves placing a grid over some gold showings and then mapping and sampling the grid. In addition a soil survey and ground magnetic survey are completed over part of the grid. The results of the field project and then used to prepare an industry-standard exploration report for the project.

More information on MINE4108.

Frequently Asked Questions

Entrance into the Program

Questions about the Program


Entrance into the Program

What if I do not have the entrance requirements?

If you do not have the entrance requirements or would like to upgrade you academics before starting the program, you should consider the Technology Entry program offered by BCIT.

Alternatively, you can pick up the courses you are missing at your local school board, college or via distance education with the Open Learning Division of Thompson Rivers University. You should make sure that any courses you take will be accepted by BCIT for admissions BEFORE taking the course.


Is Financial Aid available?

Yes, a variety of types of financial aid are available to Mining Technology students, including entrance awards, bursaries, student loans and academic awards.


What about student housing?

Both on and off-campus student housing is available.


Questions about the Program

Can I register as a professional technologist as a graduate of the Mining Program?

Yes, the Mineral Exploration and Mining Technology program is nationally accredited as an engineering technology program. As such, a graduate of the program has all the academic requirements for registration as a professional technologist. To be eligible for registration, a technologist must also complete a certain amount of work experience and complete a professional practice exam. For more information or registration, please refer to the website for the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia.


Do we have to pay for field trips?

Most of the costs of field trips are covered by the program and by bursaries from the Cy and Emerald Keyes Foundation and the John Salisbury Endowment Fund. Students are expected to cover their food costs.


Is the program hard?

Most students find the program to be demanding with 30 hours of class and lab time a week plus substantial out of class time to complete assignments and labs and to prepare for tests and exams.


Who will I learn from?

You will learn from dedicated instructors with a diversity of industry and academic experience. Key instructors in the Mineral Exploration and Mining program include both geologists and mining engineers.


Can I get credit for courses I have already taken?

Yes, you can get credit for courses you have already taken toward the Mineral Exploration and Mining Technology diploma. In order to obtain transfer credit, the courses you have taken must be very similar in content and level of difficulty to the related course in the Mining Program, and it must be an equal or greater number of credits. Transfer credit can only be applied for once you are accepted into the program and usually at the start of each term. You can obtain transfer credit for a maximum of 50% of the courses in the program.


Do you have a co-op program?

We have a co-op style work experience program between first and second year where the Mining department and BCIT's Co-op office assists students with finding well-paid summer positions in the exploration or mining industry. Students who are serious about obtaining summer employment in industry and put effort and integrity into finding a job should have no problem finding a suitable summer position through this program.


Can I take courses on a part-time basis?

The diploma program is not offered on a part-time basis. However we do offer a number of part-time studies classes that are generally offered in the evenings and on weekends.


How many students enter the program each year?

The mining program will accept up to 40 students into the program each September.

Who are the students in the program?

Students in the Mining Program come with a range of backgrounds and experience. Approximately 25-35% come right out of high-school, 25-35% have some post-secondary education up to degrees, and 40-50% have worked at various jobs for one to ten years before entering the program.


What are the transfer options to university?

The mining program maintains transfer agreements with Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia and with Mining Engineering, Metallurgical and Minerals Engineering and Geological Engineering at the Montana School of Mines.

Transfer to UBC requires a 6 month bridge program at Camosum College before entering 3rd year engineering. Transfer to Montana Tech is direct into 3rd year. Montana also offers a number of scholarships for Canadian students that keep the costs in line with Canadian universities.

Students can also transfer into the Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Engineering offered at BCIT.

Graduates of the program also enter geology and engineering programs at universities in BC and elsewhere in Canada. The number of BCIT courses that are eligible for transfer varies and normally ranges from one to one and a half years of the program. Thus an additional 3 years is typically required to complete a degree. The department will assist students who wish to transfer to other programs or universities.



What are the employment opportunities like?

Current job opportunities are excellent in both the mining and mineral exploration sectors. Our recent graduates have generally been successful at finding jobs, or have gone on to complete a university degree. A recent minerals and metals sector study managed by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MIHR) has concluded that the mining industry in Canada will face a shortfall of up to 81,000 employees over the next 10 years. That indicates that the opportunities for new graduates are excellent with good potential for advancement within the industry.


Where will I find a job?

You may find a job at a mine site, in an exploration camp, at an office or lab. You may work in Vancouver, in BC, across Canada or around the world. Most students upon graduation work at mine sites or with exploration companies in BC or elsewhere in Canada. However, some will work abroad on temporary assignments or on more permanent projects. International work is more common once several years of experience have been obtained.

It is also worth noting that Vancouver is considered the world's largest centre for mineral exploration companies, and Canadian companies command the lions share of global exploration expenditures. Canadian trained technologist, geologist and mining engineers are considered among the world's best.


What type of job might I get?

Recent graduates are qualified for a variety of positions including:

Mining Operations:

  • Mine Engineering technologist that will assist with the design and operation of the mine, with blast pattern layouts, with road design and with production optimization. Includes various levels of computer modeling and design.
  • Mine Surveyor
  • Environmental technologist
  • Mill technician
  • Geological technician


  • Quality assurance and quality control (QA-QC)
  • Engineering technologist that will assist with design and operation of the quarry.
  • Sales

Exploration Programs:

  • Exploration technologist responsible for QA-QC, sampling, prospecting, surveying, camp management, and geotechnical core logging.
  • Field assistant
  • Project design and management with supervision
  • Computer applications

Service and support companies:

  • Explosives companies
  • Computer software companies
  • Assay and mineral processing labs
  • Engineering and environmental consulting firms
  • Investor relations with exploration and mining companies

What is the pay like?

Pay in the mining and mineral exploration industry is excellent. In fact, the minerals industry is the second highest paying industry in Canada, after oil and gas. Recent graduates can expect to be paid between $40,000 and $55,000 per year. A technologist with many years' experience can expect to be paid more than $65,000.


Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Mining Program

Russell Hartlaub, Ph.D., P.Geo.
Program Head and PTS coordinator

Geology, Environmental Applications and field schools and trips
E: Russell_Hartlaub@bcit.ca

Gheorghe Bonci, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Mining Instructor

Surface Mining, Mine Computer Applications and Mine Projects
E: Gheorghe_Bonci@bcit.ca

Jim Leader, M.Sc., P.Eng.
Mining Instructor

Underground Mining, Mine Economics and Mine Tours
E: James_Leader@bcit.ca

Jim Morin, Ph.D., P.Geo.
Aboriginal Minerals Training Program
E: James_Morin@bcit.ca

Thomas Mumford, Ph.D.,
Assistant Instructor
E: tmumford2@bcit.ca

Hao Wang
Part-time Studies Coordinator

E: hao_wang@bcit.ca

Reza Tafti, Ph.D., P.Geo.
Geology Instructor

Geology, Exploration, Field Schools
E: Reza_Tafti@bcit.ca

Associated Faculty

Frank Dispirito – Physic Department
Physics and geophysics
E: Frank_Dispirito@bcit.ca

Farzan Ghaffari – Chemical Sciences Program
Mineral Processing
E: Farzan_Ghaffari@bcit.ca

Lynda Hadley - Communications Department
E: Lynda_Hadley@bcit.ca

Carmen Heaver – GIS Program
E: Carmen_Heaver@bcit.ca

Anna Ovanesova - Civil Engineering Program
Statics, geotechnical applications
E: Anna_Ovanesova@bcit.ca

Ana Talaba – Chemistry Department
E: Ana_Talaba@bcit.ca

Alan Weston - Geomatics Program
E: Alan_Weston@bcit.ca

Elaine Woo – Chemical Science Program
Assaying and geochemistry
E: Elaine_Woo@bcit.ca

Advisory committee

  • Tom Broddy, Taseko Mines Limited (Chair)
  • Bruce Bried, Mining Consultant *
  • Ron Bruhaug, Lafarge Canada Inc.
  • Bruce Butchar, Aura Minerals Inc. *
  • Lewis Clarke, Dyno Nobel *
  • Mike Larkin, Teck Highland Valley Copper *
  • Malcolm MacLachlan, University of British Columbia
  • Patrick McAndlesss, Imperial Metals Corp.
  • Sheila Stenzel, Mining Association of B.C.
  • Jack Thomson, Sable River Resources *
* Denotes an Alumni of the BCIT Program.

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"The Mining Technology program at BCIT gave me the practical knowledge I need to succeed when I first entered the industry." Stephen Ball, 2003 Mining Technology Graduate


"BCIT's Mining Program prepared me for employment in the mining industry. The program's wide range of courses, numerous field trips, hands-on field schools and summer work experience more than adequately prepared me for entry into the mining industry. The geological content of the program not only gives me a better understanding of certain aspects of my current job, but also allow me to pursue the exploration side of the industry with confidence."
Andrew Elias, 2005 Mining Technology Graduate

New Part-time Courses for Professionals

BCIT’s Centre for Mine Economic and Business bridges the gap between the technical and business aspects of the mining industry. The Centre will help professionals by providing part-time studies courses in the fundamentals of economics, business, mineral exploration and mining ...

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