Chief Surveyor

Apply now Requisition Number: 508382
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.

Key Accountabilities and Challenges

  • Operate within and observe all relevant and applicable laws of Panama.
  • Develop standard safe working procedures and actively participate in HSE initiatives.
  • Design, implement and maintain any survey control systems across the whole of the mine site from the outer gate to the port facilities, a total of around 40 kilometres. This is to be linked into the UTM national system by triangulation and GPS. The Chief Surveyor will have an excellent knowledge of Global Positioning Systems, coordinate geometry, triangulation adjustments, geodetic surveys, etc. in order to form a robust and accurate survey control system.
  • Control of all pit survey and topography in the following areas:
    • Mine survey
    • Volume calculations.
    • Control of excavations and construction.
    • Mine site plans.
    • Topographic data.
  • Responsible for all survey operations in and around the pit:
    • Set out of ore markups as requested by mine geologists.
    • Pick up of end of month pit advances and workings, or any other pickup or feature as requested by the mining engineers.
    • Set out or pick up of blast patterns.
    • Set out of dig limits, berms, batters, designs from plans so provided.
    • Set out, maintenance and verification of control stations.
  • Calculate volumes of the pit, stockpiles and concentrates, at the end of month, or at any time as designated by the Mine Manager.
  • Calculate volumes of mining blocks, drilled and blasted areas.
  • Regular reporting of volumes.
  • Authorise any excavation around the plant site or where there are buried services.
  • Sets out or picks up any construction, site engineering works, or excavation as required by the Mine Manager.
  • Maintain a repository of plans of the site, plant, pit, services, or any other feature as required by the Mine Manager. The plans are normally held in electronic format.
  • Maintain a database of all control stations in electronic format.
  • Prepare and maintain sketches, maps, reports, and legal descriptions of surveys in order to describe, certify, and assume liability for work performed.
  • Maintain a database of exploration and infill drill hole collar positions.
  • Set out drill holes.
  • Set out or pick up any geological sampling position.
  • Set out drill patterns and collar locations.
  • Calculate height of dill collars.
  • Check drill hole depths against planned drilling and report result to mining contractor’s staff.
  • Control, report and reduce operational costs, and ensure cost consideration taken with all decisions.
  • Implement FQM Way culture in the Control Room team - "Bolder, Smarter, Driven, Together."
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Manager Mining.

Skills, Knowledge & Experience

  • Education
    • A Tertiary Qualification in Science, Surveying or Diploma in Surveying or a BSc or HND in Mining Engineering with significant survey modules.
  • Skills
    • Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills.
    • Expert knowledge in the use of modern surveying instruments (total stations, DGPS, laser and optical levels and plummets) and post processing methods.
    • Strength in Survey network establishment and adjustment.
    • Ability to analyse and calculate complex data with advanced reporting skills.
    • Expert knowledge in the use of modern surveying instruments (total stations, DGPS, laser and optical levels and plummets) and post processing methods.
    • Proficiency in Mine Survey Software (Surpac, Vulcan, Minesight, etc.) however experience with Surpac is a must.
    • Excellent computer skills and knowledge in MS Office Suite: database, word processing, spreadsheets.
    • Current drivers licence.
  • Experience
    • Proof of constant professional development.
    • Background of working in similar roles in open pit mines worldwide would be highly regarded.
    • Essential to have proven leadership/supervisory experience
    • Proven success in planning and organizing.
    • Minimum 7 years post graduate surveying experience with experience in large open cut and/or large scale civil engineering projects.
  • Language

Fluency in English for both written and spoken communication is required and proficiency in Spanish highly regarded.


  • Leadership disposition
  • Strategic decision making.
  • Results driven.
  • Team builder.
  • Planning and Organizing

Working Conditions

Cobre Panama is a remote site. The position is offered as Residential or FIFO.

Safety and Environment

    • Participate and contribute to safe practice and environmental awareness.
    • Ensure all safety environmental incidents are addressed & reported promptly.
    • Demonstrate personal commitment in regard to safety and environmental practices.
    • Identification of potential hazards and action that is appropiately taken.
    • Maintenance of a high standard of efficiency, safety and effectiveness.
    • Raising, discussion and resolution of safety issues at regular meetings. 


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Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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