Daniel Ashton

"Once I started doing work experience, I realised that UQ has a great reputation for producing quality researchers and industry geologists."


Why did you study geological sciences?

I’ve always found earth and nature to be fascinating. I did well in my science classes at high school, so started a Bachelor of Science at UQ. I enrolled in EARTH1000, which introduced me to the passionate lecturers in UQ, who inspired me to make geoscience my major.


What was the best part of your time at UQ?

There were too many memorable experiences for me. Every field trip made an indelible impression. Being elected president of the UQ Geological Society was a big highlight for me, as was playing for the UQ basketball team at a number of University Games through my time there.


What does a typical day in your job look like?

The day starts at 5:30am, waking up and collecting food for the day from the kitchen area at the accommodation camp. The other geologists and I drive in to work and we spend the morning in safety meetings with drillers and other technical services staff, organising the day’s activities, and completing material tracking requirements (so we know what material went from where to where).

After lunch we usually head underground inspecting the new development (tunnels), production locations, and drillers’ job sites. In newly developed tunnels we map the walls to add to our geological model of the deposit, which helps us inform the engineers doing design work and make the mine as efficient as possible. We achieve this through knowing where the copper ore is, where bad ground might affect us, and where groundwater might cause problems.

Our day usually finishes at around 6:45pm after meeting the night shift drillers for a brief toolbox talk. Most of us are fairly active after work with casual tennis, basketball and touch football, a well-equipped gym, and swimming pool to use if you have any energy left at the end of the day. Recently, a Craft Beer Club formed with the metallurgists and mechanical engineers from the processing facility and this has been an enjoyable way to socialise with people from other departments after work.


What advice do you have for someone deciding how to start their career?

If you choose to study at UQ, make sure you get involved as much as possible, because it is all over too soon! UQ has a great reputation in the field of geology for producing quality researchers and industry geologists.

The academic staff in the Faculty of Science are all well connected, respected throughout and major to mid major companies often have confidence employing UQ graduates on the strength of its program.

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Daniel Ashton

Daniel Ashton

Job title
Mine Geologist, Ernest Henry Mining

Bachelor Of Science (Honours)(Geoscience)

Profile published 2016

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