Aurcana Corp.’s New Miners Training Program Featured on CBS News

July 25, 2013

Shafter’s New Local Miners Training Program was featured on CBS News.

The documentary can be watched at the following link:

In order to help ensure that sufficient qualified miners are always available locally, Aurcana through its wholly owned subsidiary Rio Grande Mining Company, operator of the Shafter mine, has partnered with the local school board in Presidio, Texas and have jointly set up a mining school. This has been greeted with significant interest and support from the local community. The first group of locally trained miners is expected to begin working at Shafter in August and will work alongside the existing experienced miners.

The article can be read below, or at the following link:

Matt Rist, CBS 7 News,, July 24, 2013

PRESIDIO-Workers are in high demand at the old Shafter Silver Mine, so they’re working with Presidio ISD to train recent graduates.

The Shafter Mine has called presidio home since the 1860’s, now they are pushing to recruit new local workers, but it’s still a dangerous business. We take you inside to see first-hand what it’s like.

Down, Down, Down…

“Safety is always first. You go back to step one, I’m going to come out alive, watch out for number one which is you.” said Shafter Mine Supervisor and Training Instructor Manny Alvarado.

More than 750 feet below the surface into the two miles of tunnels at Shafter mine, where miners take risks to earn an honest living.

“We’re talking about rocks coming down, tripping hazards, improper lifting, staying out of the way of heavy equipment,” Alvarado said.

But safety is a priority at the mine and it starts above ground, where recent Presidio grad Victor Hernandez helps me suit up.

“When you’re drilling, rocks can come down,” said Presidio Graduate and Shafter Mine Trainee Victor Hernandez. “Any size of rocks, big size, small rocks, you have no idea what can come down. I’ve seen rocks as big as that table.”

He’s one of the first in a 4-week training program taught at Presidio ISD and inside the mine.

Despite knowing the risks, it’s back down into the mine for Hernandez for the backbreaking work, all to find silver and sometimes gold.

Now one of the biggest fears about working in a mine is getting trapped down here, but this is not your grandfather’s mine, new technology has opened the door for safety measures like a refuge chamber which can keep 20 men safe and fed in the event of a collapse for up to two weeks.

“I thought it was smaller, dusty, muddy a really tiny space to work in,” Hernandez said. “But actually my first day here was amazing because I saw that it was nothing like what I had in mind.”

With other booming industries just a few hours away, why choose mining? For many in presidio, it’s a way to stay close to home.

“It was a new opportunity and it was close to home and my family,” Hernandez said.

It also makes sense for the mining company — hard pressed to keep out-of-town workers in far-off presidio, it turns to locals with the new training program.

“We train and teach some of the students and offer them something different for those who don’t want to go to the college level,” said Supervisor of Human Resources for Shafter Mine Phillip Aguilar. “We talked about developing a program that will help high school students find a career.”

A career it is for Hernandez—one of the 13 locals getting paid to learn to mine.

“Danger is not an option, but fear is, so if you have a job, stick to it,” Hernandez said.

Now if you want to join the program they will have more training in the near future, you can give the mine a call directly at (432) 229-4737 and ask for information about the upcoming training dates.


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    Jul 26, 2013 26:41 PM

    Now if only the company would keep ripping off their shareholders and reward them.

    Jul 29, 2013 29:27 PM

    all yo wash commenes