Taseko Mines Ltd.’s vice president of corporate affairs has been working in the mining industry for decades.
Brian Battison has been with Taseko since 2006, before that he worked with the Mining Association of B.C. for 13 years, and prior to that was an executive assistant for the Minister of Energy and Mines in Victoria.
“Mining is the back bone of B.C.’s economy and has been since the days of the Cariboo Gold Rush,” Battison said of why he’s drawn to the industry.
“It is just a basic essential industry and I like people that work with their hands but are geniuses with their talent and ingenuity they bring to their work.”
Battison said he is always amazed at the incredible things people can do, especially engineers.
“I can’t imagine a world without engineers,” he added. “They seem to be the most incredible creatures on the planet, much more important than any other sector of society. It all comes down to these very smart people that are good at math and physics that can build buildings and bridges and automobiles — all the things that we take for granted.”
In the world of mining, it’s the mining engineer that is at the top of the heap, he explained.
“All the other engineers work for the mining engineers, whether they are mechanical or electrical, etc. They are just really smart, clever and safe people. They don’t have a choice — they have to do things in an engineering way. The bridge has to stand up, it has to be made out of concrete and steel, and it has be done to an engineering standard. They don’t waiver.”
The other aspect he loves is that most mining engineers come from smaller communities because that’s where mining takes place.
“They keep their values, and then because they are running big economic engines, they are approached by communities to help with projects such as building pools, or other projects communities are hoping to achieve,” he said.
“Even if they move to Toronto or Vancouver to work in the head office their values travel with them. They might be a wealthy guy, but they are just regular people, really down to earth, kind and sincere and I really like working around them.”
Originally from Penticton, Battison said he enjoys getting out of the main office in Vancouver himself and will travel once a quarter to Williams Lake to visit Gibraltar Mine or to the company’s mine in Florence, Arizona.
“I did spend a lot of time in Williams Lake when we were trying to get New Prosperity through the environmental assessment process and made some good friends from 100 Mile and Williams Lake that remain good friends today. I really identify with people from smaller towns. I am more comfortable in smaller towns than I am in a big city.”