SPRING CREEK — There is a lot to talk about in the mining industry. And more and more people are listening in on the conversations on the Mining Minds podcast.
The Mining Minds podcast, which got started in March, is recorded right here in Spring Creek. Every week you will hear several hosts who are involved with the mining industry talk about mining, usually with a guest.
“Miners always want to have a voice in the industry,” said Dino Brunson, one of the owners of Mining Minds LLC and a host of the podcast. “So we want to be that positive voice.”
Mining Minds has had a wide variety of guests, and they are inviting people from all areas of the industry to come on the show. The guests on the podcast so far have included dozer operator Hazen Mascaro, rapper iLL ZakieL, emergency response coordinator Tito Segovia, health and wellness coach Natashia Dallin, electrician John Allsup, operations director Curtis Caldwell, and project manager Brent Adams.
“We focus on their journey in the mining industry,” Brunson said. “How they started, what their progression looked like, the opportunities that were given to them, and then kind of what they do on the outside, to show the work-life balance.”
“We try staying away from mine-specific items,” Brunson said, “because we don’t want to dive necessarily into the companies, but we want to dive into what’s going on in the area, what’s affecting the miner, what’s the miner’s focus, what are some of the questions that are in the community, things like that.”
The popularity of podcasts is skyrocketing, but even for people who are not familiar with the whole podcasting concept, it’s easy to sign up to get Mining Minds delivered to your phone or other device. A new Mining Minds podcast is released every Wednesday morning.
The podcast’s invitation to new listeners is, “Welcome to the face. In mining that is where the action is, where the individuals doing the work are, and where the business begins. Mining Minds is a podcast based out of one of the world’s largest gold producing districts. From our experiences and experiences of those at the face (the dig face) we will walk through the life of miners, the communities and companies that support them, and the lifestyles they choose to live. We will discuss the importance of mining to the world and the importance of responsible mining to the environment and our future. Join us for some entertaining and educational podcasts.”
The start of the podcast
The owners of Mining Minds LLC and the hosts of the show include Brunson, his brother Derek Grover, and Grover’s brother-in-law Chris Rodriguez. Jason James is also involved with the podcast, but he is in the Reserves and has been out of town.
Brunson said that a while back he and the others were looking into starting a business. There were a lot of possibilities of different kinds of businesses they could work on. One idea they thought of was a podcast, and they did some research and felt that there was a need for the type of podcast they were thinking of – miners talking about life as a miner.
Once they decided to work on a podcast “it took us about eight months to really put the structure behind it,” Brunson said. They worked out the details of the format and the focus and the distribution of the podcast, and they also worked on their sound studio.
“We were working every weekend to perfect our sound and change up the studio to where we were happy with the sound quality,” Brunson said.
Brunson said the variety of experience that he and the others involved with Mining Minds have in the mining industry has given them a lot of knowledge about the industry and a lot of contacts.
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“From the different seats that we sit in, we have an encompassing view of the vendor side of things,” Brunson said. “It’s really about knowing the people inside the industry, to where those contacts are giving you honest information.”
“Between the three of us, and the town being as small as it is, we know a lot of people inside the business.” Brunson said. “So we get a lot of snapshots from the real estate side, the health and fitness side … All the areas that we want to podcast about, we know somebody who is willing to come on the show and be your subject matter expert.”
The Mining Minds team has several goals for the podcast. A primary focus, as their motto says, is to be “the voice inside the industry.”
“We want to let the people know that are coming on, that I can speak freely, I can have a beer with the guys and talk about certain subjects and my voice is going to get heard,” Brunson said.
Some of the topics the hosts often talk about with their guests are health and fitness and finances. Some of the guests have talked about times when they felt they went down the wrong road for a while by letting their fitness decline or by making some bad spending decisions. Guests have also talked about how they have maintained their fitness and looked after their finances while working as a miner.
“It’s about the miner and how we can help influence them to be able to retire at 55 with a nice bank account and healthy as well,” Brunson said.
Several of the guests have talked about the work they have done in mine rescue. This is a topic that the Mining Minds hosts are especially interested in because they all have backgrounds in mine rescue.
Through social media, podcast listeners can give feedback and suggest topics for future conversations.
Brunson said he recently has heard from some miners in Wyoming.
“I’ve been getting messaged on Facebook, saying, hey man, we love these stories, these are the same things that we’re going through up here.”
“The health and fitness, the rescue podcast, we’re getting some really good feedback on the topics that we’ve had,” Brunson said.
Some of the people giving feedback on the podcast have asked for more focus on women in mining. Out of the first 15 guests on the podcasts, only one was a woman, but Brunson said they will change that ratio. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 13 percent of the people in the mining industry are now women, but that percentage is gradually increasing, and women fill a lot of important roles in the industry.