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Maggie Layman, BSc, P. Geo

Maggie Layman

How did you decide on pursuing your degree(s)? Did you know about geology/geoscience before you entered university?

As a child I collected rocks and I always liked being outside and exploring, I enjoyed the sciences in school. When it came time I pursue university, I took a few courses and after participating in my first field school, I discovered my passion for geology.  

Describe your career progression since finishing undergrad.

During my undergrad, I had a few different opportunities to work in a lab at the university, in a remote greenfield exploration camp with the Geological Survey and spend a season working in an open pit operation. After my undergrad, I joined the Vale exploration group in Sudbury, Ontario, exploring Nickel-Copper PGE deposits. Later, I moved to Vancouver and began working with a junior gold exploration company on properties in British Columbia and the Yukon before joining Barkerville Gold Mines in 2015, becoming the Vice President of Exploration in 2018. With ongoing investment and support from Osisko, the technical team conducted systematic exploration to derive a sound geologic model and drilled over 700,000 meters to bring the project to feasibility and receipt of the Environmental Assessment certificate in the fall of 2023. During this time, Osisko Gold Royalties acquired the remainder of BGM (2019) and then formed the spin out to Osisko Development Corp (ODV) in 2020. We continued to grow and I gained the opportunity to work on our project in Sonora Mexico, and direct the exploration on our Tintic Project in Utah, USA, which was acquired in 2022.

If you could go back to your first year in undergrad, would you pick the same degree and career trajectory? Why/why not?

Absolutely. Geology, especially mineral exploration, has provided diverse and fulfilling opportunities to work and travel on a multitude of projects and explore for different commodities across North America. Despite a desire to explore projects worldwide, my focus remains on advancing projects for societal benefit and personal growth.

Maggie Layman Core Shed

What are the three best things about your job/career? What are three things you would change?

The diversity of work exposure to various disciplines, the people I have met, and the gratification of making discoveries are highlights. My job allows me to get involved in many different aspects of the business from exploration and science to finance, marketing, community engagement and environment. Making a discovery is always the end game in exploration. It is so rewarding when all the hard work from the team results in a game-changing drill hole.

Areas for improvement include altering public perceptions of mining, enhancing diversity in leadership, and streamlining project approval processes.

Why is gender balance in mineral exploration/mining/geoscience important to you?

Promoting gender diversity is crucial for industry innovation and long-term sustainability.

Gender balance ensures diverse perspectives are represented, leading to better decision-making and risk management. We are building projects meant to benefit society at large, therefore those who are in the business should have lived experiences, values and goals that represent our diverse society, and that includes gender balance.   It also addresses workforce shortages by attracting talent from all demographics, ultimately improving safety and industry reputation. Promoting gender diversity is crucial for industry innovation and long-term sustainability. Small changes, like providing appropriate work attire and PPE and fostering inclusive cultures, can drive significant shifts toward equality and progress.

Maggie Layman and friends

What advice would you give to young women starting a career in mineral exploration/mining/geoscience?

Prioritize company culture and professional development opportunities when considering job offers. Ask about what the company does for inclusion and diversity. Seek mentors, network, and embrace continuous learning. Don't be deterred by not meeting every criterion in job postings, and remember to advocate for yourself.

What motivates you and keeps you busy outside of mineral exploration/mining/geoscience?

Outside of work, I like to keep active. I run, ski, swim and do yoga. I also love to cook, read, travel and spend time with friends.  My husband and I live in Vancouver and we take advantage of what the city has to offer.

Maggie Layman PPE

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