If you go to Google.earth and zoom to Coal City, Indiana, you will see the town in question: a small community clustered around a north-south road, and surrounded by fields and reclaimed spoil piles. Its history is coal mining and the arrival and departure of the railroad. Economic boom and bust and return to a rural community supported by distant coal mines run by large corporations.

Nothing very unusual about any of this. Except that one of its sons is just now finishing his Master Thesis in mining engineering at the University of British Columbia. Specifically he is completing a thesis on mine backfill. Then he joins Barrick in Toronto.

He once commented on a blog posting, we met for lunch, he mentioned his student essay on Coal City, and now he is letting me “publish” his writings on TechnoMine. Go to this link.

I believe it a piece worth posting and worth reading. It portrays small-town heartland American mining at its strongest. It is also a personal portrait of one person about to become a mining engineer. And if this writing cannot inspire others to study the profession and enter the profession and make it proud, I know not what will.