Reflecting on his experiences
After having spent the better part of 40 years working in the mining and exploration industry, Lindsay Bottomer, vice-president of business development and director of Entrée Gold Inc., is able to look back on his illustrious career with an assured sense of accomplishment. His career path has led him from his origins in eastern Australia to his now permanent home in Vancouver, and he has held an array of positions in the industry since entering it as an apprentice during his second year of university.
“I find what I do to be very rewarding,” said Bottomer. “Whether in oil and gas or metal, what we do is fundamental to our society, lifestyle and economy. The discoveries we’ve made are very important to not only people in certain areas but to the world in general. I’m very proud of what we do.”
Bottomer’s career has seen him play a role in a number of important discoveries, which include the Eskay Creek Mine in B.C. as well as in various mining areas around the world.
“I’ve done a fair bit of work in some of the remote parts of Mongolia and South America,” he said. “Being able to work outdoors and travel from place to place was an attraction for me early on, and has subsequently allowed me to see some spectacular scenery and meet some fascinating people.”
For Bottomer, being able to experience other cultures while doing something he loves has been enriching.
“It’s quite something to meet people who are very poor living their very own self-contained lifestyle,” he said. “These people have a lot of pride in what they do, yet by our standards they’ve got virtually nothing. It’s a humbling experience and makes us realize just how much we have and how we should be grateful for it.”
Travelling is just one of the many perks that Bottomer associates with his career. Having had a strong interest in science and geology from an early age, Bottomer enjoys that aspect of his work in mining and exploration. Yet, due to the sometimes unpredictable nature of the industry, his career has not been without its share of setbacks.
“It’s a classic cyclic industry: there will be ups and there will be downs, and the downs are not pleasant,” he said. “I received three pink slips in the ’90s, which wasn’t fun, and the work can be hard on personal relationships. Nevertheless, companies seem to now be doing a better job of paying attention to these kinds of things.”
Bottomer today remains as enthusiastic about his work as ever. As well as working for Entrée, he is involved with various other companies and organizations within the industry on a freelance basis, and is optimistic about the growing number of opportunities available to those considering a career in mining and exploration.
“Right now, there are some tremendous opportunities in the industry and I’d encourage people to check it out,” he said. “As well as being intellectually rewarding, working in mining and exploration can be financially rewarding; however, I’d advise people to go into it out of interest, not for the money.”