Drill and Blast Engineer (Field)

Apply now Requisition Number: 501783
Contract Type: On-going
Country: Panama
Location: Donoso
Site: Cobre Panama - Mine Site
Categories: Mining

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. has grown from a small mineral operation in Zambia into a multinational mining business in less than two decades, with a global portfolio of copper and nickel assets in Europe, Africa, Australia and South America. This phenomenal growth is down to FQM people who have strived to be Bolder, Smarter and Driven in everything they do.

In March 2013, First Quantum Minerals acquired Inmet Mining Corporation, a Canadian-based mining company primarily producing copper and zinc from mines in Finland, Spain and Turkey, with also a major copper deposit under development in Panama, known as Cobre Panama. The combination of the First Quantum and Inmet assets has created one of the world’s leading copper producers with a geographically diversified portfolio of high-quality operations and development projects in eight countries across five continents.

With a strategic plan to produce more than 1 million tonnes per annum of copper within five years, the Company is poised to become the largest, widely-held pure-play copper producer and one of the top five copper producers in the world.

We are currently searching for an experienced Drill and Blast engineer who will be responsible to ensure proper Open Pit drill and blast practices.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Must have an excellent understanding of the drill & blast management of an open pit operation.
  • Support the Drill and Blast Superintendent, act as the 2IC and stand in his place during leave cycles
  • Ensure relevant health and safety checks and protocols are carried out before commencement and during execution of tasks.
  • Ensure that working conditions are in compliance with the company's Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental site requirements and that works are performed to the approved Safe Working Procedures (SWP).
  • Supervise the drilling shifts in accordance with the plans of the areas to be drilled, drill patterns, set-outs, and other information provided by the mine planning engineers.
  • Organise the supplying, maintenance and utilisation of rock drilling tools and other consumables.
  • Must ensure the rigs are well set up on the drill pattern to avoid accident and avoid poor utilisation of the rigs.
  • Ensure drillers on the rigs are competent operators and approved by the training department.
  • Co-ordinate with the mine planners for timely availability of floors for blast hole drilling.
  • Check drill holes for correct depth, diameter, subdrill and collar elevation in coordination with the mine planners.
  • Monitor and supervise performance of the blasting contractor – that holes are unblocked, loading of holes, decking, tie-ins, sequencing, quality of explosives used, positioning of blast guards, etc.
  • Responsibility of state of floor before drilling (on design, presence of toe, quantity of oversize, etc.) is a key measure of the performance of the Drill and Blast Engineer (Field).
  • Responsible for secondary breakage of oversize.
  • Report performance, breakdowns, equipment damage, safety near misses, incidents and accidents according to established procedures.
  • Facilitate the provision of planned maintenance (services) and breakdowns.
  • Promote training of personnel.
  • To be pro-active in all aspects of operational safety, efficient utilisation of the resources and encourage teamwork across.
  • Help to develop and maintain a cohesive “team” to ensure employee job satisfaction and skill enhancement opportunities.
  • Actively participate in developing a self directed team environment by fostering a proactive attitude within the team
  • Providing guidance and assistance to all team members engaged in team projects
  • Minimize costs through efficient supervision of labour, resources and services.
  • Promote continuous improvement by challenging work practices and encouraging employee participation in new concepts.
  • Good motivational skills.
  • Reasonable verbal and written communication skills to facilitate accurate transfer of information in both an upward and downward direction.
  • A meticulous approach to procedures, mark-ups, ore mining, and recording.
  • Able to work for long hours in a hot, wet, dirty, and dusty environment
  • The ability to coordinate different operating disciplines to create a “team” environment, which enhances job satisfaction and stimulates continuous productivity improvements.
  • Any other duties that may be assigned to fulfil the overall business objective of the organisation.

Drill equipment on site:

  • 9 Furukawa DCR20 and HCR1511 top hammer rigs
  • 3 Atlas Copco DM45 top hammer rigs
  • 7 Cat MD6640 rotary blasthole rigs (on order)


  • A minimum of five years relevant experience in open-pit metalliferous hard rock drilling as a drill and blast superintendent, engineer, supervisor, or foreman.
  • Five years expatriate experience.
  • Able to take full responsibility with minimum supervision for safety, production and quality of the drill and blast operations over three shifts.
  • Ability to interpret drilling plans and effectively communicate targets and goals to the teams..
  • Must have good written and spoken communication skills in the English language; Spanish is desirable but not essential but must show willingness to learn the language.
  • Has an international driving licence.
  • Possession of an internationally recognised Shotfirer’s Certificate or Blasting Certificate of Competency or equivalent.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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