Growing up just outside of Jasper National Park, our Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs Sylvia Van Zalingen has always had an affinity for the environment and being outdoors. While studying Wildlife Biology, she was introduced to mine reclamation and decided to pursue a master’s degree in Land Reclamation at Montana State University.
Sylvia has experience working in the mining industry at operating mines as a consultant, and as a Mines Inspector. “In my early work years, even as a Mines Inspector, there were a lot of sexist remarks and obvious assumptions by some that I couldn’t possibly know much of anything about mining,” she says, “but I never let it slow me down. The industry has made huge strides to encourage female participation during my 30 plus year career and I look forward to continued improvements.”
She ended up moving to Smithers after hiking in the mountains in the area and falling in love with northern BC. Due to her work as a mines inspector, she had the opportunity to experience many remote exploration and mining sites including Brucejack in the 90s. “Brucejack has been my most in depth path of being involved from planning through to operations,” she says. “I enjoy the exceptional people on our team. So many super capable and great human beings.” She wants to encourage everyone that has an interest in mining and the environmental field: “Do what interests you and makes you proud of your work and contributions. There are so many more opportunities for young people in mining and environmental sciences compared to when I started working.”