Spokane artist Glenn Emmons was the artist chosen by the Northwest Mining Association to sculpt what Spokesman Review writer Lorie Hutson dubbed, the "larger-than-life bronze statue" that they donated to Spokane. According to Hutson, "he carefully researched the details for each of his sculptures. He went to the Hecla Mining Co's mines in Silver Valley to study miners at work and their equipment for the bronze." The statue depicts a hard-rock miner holding a jackleg drill against rock face, checking the quality of the ore that he's extracting. This is Emmons' most prominent sculpture in Spokane.
This statue was commissioned by the Northwest Mining Association, in celebration of their centennial anniversary in 1995. The NWMA was founded in 1895 in Spokane, Washington as a non-profit, non-partisan trade association. The association soon grew to support the mining industry in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, Alberta, and British Columbia. Their main purpose is to support and represent the mining and smelting interests in the U.S. and Canada and consider themselves "the national voice for exploration and access to public lands." Today they monitor and interpret local, state, and national legislation that impacts the mining industry. They also consider creating and dispersing mining education materials to federal and state agencies, the public, and international business communities as part of their purpose. Committee activities, referrals, and their annual convention are the platforms they use to accomplish their purposes.