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The Chronicle, Thursday, 20th May, 2010. www.chronicleseries.co.uk
Geologist-turned cover-girl Heather has mining appeal
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producing zinc, copper and gold around 100km from the village.
A former Congleton student who became a geologist is now a covergirl.
She said: “My job involves using geological and geophysical techniques and knowledge in order to find more ore and extend the production lifetime of the mine.
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Heather Platt began her career in mining after a chance encounter in a museum while on holiday in Sweden.
“It’s quite a varied job and involves making geological maps and 3D models of the different rock types and ore lenses, taking samples to find out how much metal per tonne we’ll get from the ore and planning new drill holes in order to explore new areas where there could be more ore waiting to be found.”
The 25-year-old was recruited by a company in the Scandinavian country.
Using her geological expertise, her role is to find ore reserves so that a mine’s production lifetime can be extended.
But from searching for new ore deposits she was surprised to discover her own picture on the cover of the Swedish magazine “Gruv-Nytt” that specialises in mining news: “I didn’t know I was going to be on the front cover.
Now the former Congleton High School student has become the face of her company after she appeared on the front cover of a Swedish business magazine specialising in mining.
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Miss Platt, from Talke, left Congleton High School in 2003 and went to study geology at Edinburgh University, where she gained first class honours.
“I had my picture taken so that the company could use it for promotional material.
“On the cover of the magazine, I’m standing in front of a big poster of that photo at our company stand at a university student fair.
After leaving university in 2008, she took some time off and went to Sweden for a few weeks holiday.
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“I think they wanted to create a more modern image for the company that would appeal to a wide audience and particularly to students.”
She visited the Boliden mining museum where she found that several mining companies were still carrying out production in the area and more geologists were required.
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Cover-girl: Miss Platt
Luckily, someone from the Boliden company was at the museum at the time giving a resentation.
She said: “I spoke to him and gave him my CV and contact details.
“I was back in Talke a few months later when I received a hone call asking if I wanted to fly over next week for an interview.”
Miss Platt, whose father Robin is a Congleton businessman, now works for Boliden, Europe’s third largest supplier of copper and zinc metals which specialises in exploration, mining and smelting.
She currently lives in the village of Boliden, round 1,000km north of Stockholm, where the company of the same name was founded in the 1920s.
Miss Platt is working at a mine
Miss Platt added: “I’m probably not the first image that springs to mind when you think of a mining company but I think it’s good for people to see that in a generally male dominated industry, there are some young girls too.” Her father said although his daughter is following her dreams in another country, they still speak around two times a week, he added: “I’m very proud of her.”
The decision to move to Sweden was an easy one for Miss Platt as she explained: “I’d lived in Edinburgh for four years, I’d already got used to being at least a few hours from home and I was willing to relocate.
“The opportunities for geologists worldwide are currently pretty good and since there’s a limited amount of geology-related jobs available in the UK, it made sense to move somewhere where I could get good experience in primary industry.”
She said she still classes Talke as home: “It will always be home in some sense or another and always feels great when I’m back there.
“I’ve been home three times in two and half years so I suppose I don’t return too often, just at Christmas usually.
“I miss my dad most of all and other family and friends and also the varied landscape but I don’t miss the traffic jams or hectic pace of life that seems to dominate in the UK.”
Miss Platt’s hopes for the future are to discover a new ore that could be mined and on a personal level, to continue to enjoy her job and lifestyle.
Black Firs win schools netball league
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The victorious Black Firs team with the cup.
Successful sports stars at Black Firs Primary School have netted the Congleton Schools etball League Cup. The team, comprising of upils from years five and six at the West Heath school, were victorious after a series of “high five” (mixed sex) matches against teams from other local primary schools. They topped the league on goal difference.
The other primary schools taking part were: Buglawton, Mossley, Marlfields, The Quinta, Marton, Daven, and
(“Chronicle” photo. 1907/10).
Smallwood and the matches were played over three evenings at Congleton High school.
Black Firs deputy headteacher Daphney Wright said: “It was very close in the end and everyone did really well.”
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