By John RydellIt was a quiet day at Bosch Sawmill in West Londonderry when Mark Hutton took his first crack at drilling a bit of gold.
The 18-year-old was just starting out his career in the business, which has been around for decades, when he took the opportunity to take a look around and discover a new opportunity in the mining industry.
“It’s been really good, a good learning experience,” he said.
“I’ve seen some good people around and they have a lot of good advice.”
Mr Hutton has been involved in mining since he was a teenager and is one of the few people in the area who has made it his life’s work to help young people become self-sufficient.
“There are some very young people out there who are very passionate about mining,” he added.
“When they come to my house I want to give them an opportunity and give them a chance to learn.”
That’s why I’ve been involved so much in this business, to give people a chance and to give those kids a chance.
“Mr Kallisto said he had no plans to stop mining and the gold he saw during his visit was “really exciting”.”
I was in the middle of a mine, I saw this big piece of gold,” he explained.”
Then it went up to the surface and I looked at it and it was a little bit bigger, but then I realised it was just a big piece, it wasn’t a lot.
“Mr Bosch had been working on the sawmill for the past six months and was keen to show his pupils the value of the job, as well as the skills required to become successful in the industry.
He was joined by his boss, Dr Kallismo, who said he was delighted with the progress that had been made over the past 18 months.”
The first three months, it’s been pretty amazing,” he admitted.”
This is something that I had been wanting to do for a long time, I wanted to work in the mines for a while and I had a dream, I needed to get a job in the coal industry.
“Now that I’ve had a chance I’m very happy to do that and I hope it’ll bring a lot more opportunities.”
Dr Hutton said he knew the young people in WestLondondry who would benefit from a career in mining.
“They have a great future and a lot going for them,” he commented.
“We need more young people coming into the mining business and I think that’s why we need a lot younger people to come into the industry.”
Bosch sawmill, a company established by the family of Robert Bosch, was opened in the early 1970s in West-Londonda.
The company now employs more than 6,000 people, with a number of projects in the pipeline.
In the past three years, Bosch has increased its production capacity to a further 3,500 tonnes a year.