Archive | Women in Mining

The US head of the world’s largest diamond miner says its sustainability plan isn’t just good for the planet, it’s the future of its business – by Richard Feloni (Business Insider – May 2019)

https://www.businessinsider.com/

Despite its position as the world’s largest diamond miner by volume, Alrosa is not a well-known name in the United States, the world’s largest diamond market. Rebecca Foerster, head of the company’s North American division, is on a mission to change that — and she says Alrosa’s sustainability initatives are key.

“Alrosa, as a pure-play mined diamond company, is one of the few companies that can, without question, guarantee the chain of custody and the provenance of the diamonds that they mine,” Foerster told Business Insider.

Alrosa is a publicly traded company whose majority shareholders are Russia’s federal and regional governments, but Foerster said that she’s not concerned with politics when it comes to the brand, given that the company’s mines in Siberia are among the world’s most sustainable. Continue Reading →

‘Require, Not Ask’ for Women in Mining, Urges Ex-Anglo Chief – by Krystal Chia (Bloomberg News – May 9, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Mining is not only for men. Companies have to do more to push gender diversity, according to Cynthia Carroll, former chief executive officer of Anglo American Plc.

“Companies should require, not ask that executives promote, recruit and include women,” Carroll said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in Singapore. Heading the miner from 2007 to 2013, Carroll was Anglo American’s first female chief executive, and now sits on the boards of a few companies, including Hitachi Ltd.

Mining remains male-dominated. In a survey of 30 companies, the Responsible Mining Foundation found “little or no evidence of efforts” to strengthen the gender balance of their leadership and governance teams. Continue Reading →

Canadian Ingenuity: Kate Rice canoed, hunted and prospected – by Susanna McLeod (Kingston Whig Standard – May 8, 2019)

https://www.thewhig.com/

Wherever she went, Kate Rice always had a particular item with her. It wasn’t a locket, it wasn’t a wallet, nor medication. The item was something every prospector girl needed when working by herself in the wilderness. It was a rifle.

Kathleen (Kate) Creighton Starr Rice, born Dec. 22, 1882, thrived in the outdoors. Her love began with canoeing, camping and hunting trips with her father, Henry Lincoln Rice. While her mother read bedtime fairy tales to her young daughter, Kate’s father ignited the child’s imagination with tales of adventure and nature.

Fine-featured, pretty and nearly six feet tall, Kate Rice was regarded by friends and family as eccentric and independent, with a stern “don’t mess with me” personality. The family living in St. Mary’s in southwestern Ontario was upper middle class. Henry Rice operated St. Mary’s Milling Company, the firm inherited by his wife, Charlotte Carter. Continue Reading →

ROB MAGAZINE: How Lundin CEO Marie Inkster plans to change mining’s bad reputation – by Trevor Cole (Globe and Mail – April 23, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Inkster opens up about her reluctance to take the top job and how she hopes to change the industry’s reputation

Based on the career of Marie Inkster, someone looking for adventure in business might want to consider accounting. Once a CA with Deloitte Canada, Inkster went to work for Geac Computer Corp. in the late 1990s.

When her boss left for Nortel, Inkster smartly decided not to join her. Instead, in 2002, she found herself in the three-person office of LionOre, being lured into a life in mining. Soon she was travelling the world. By 2009 she was CFO at Lundin Mining, a rising mid-tier miner run by the audacious Lukas Lundin, and walking through the Congolese jungle.

She orchestrated Lundin’s 2014 acquisition of the Candelaria Copper Mining Complex in Chile, raising $2.2 billion and nearly doubling the size of the company. In October of last year, Inkster replaced Paul Conibear as CEO. Continue Reading →

The Women Emerald Miners of Colombia – by Laura Millan (Bloomberg News – April 13, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Dubai-based Fura Gems is hiring dozens of women to help bring De Beers-like discipline to a once violent and wild industry.

Nubia Galeano slips the short-handled pick into her left rubber boot and turns on her headlamp as she enters a steaming, cramped tunnel, one of thousands that crisscross the vast Coscuez emerald mine. The corridor narrows, and Galeano, already dripping in sweat, is soon crawling on all fours.

When she reaches a space so tight her small body barely fits, she pulls out her pick and starts digging. The 45-year-old, single mother of two fills her sack with up to 40 pounds at once and crawls backward until she can stand back up and retrace her steps to the surface.

Outside, she washes the load in a small stream, indifferent to the swarming bugs and the buzz of dozens of other miners around her. Adept at spotting the tiniest speck of green, Galeano quickly realizes she’s come up empty-handed. Continue Reading →

Diamonds in the Rough: Meet Canada’s all-female mine rescue team – by Len Gillis (Sudbury Northern Life – April 12, 2019)

https://www.sudbury.com/

It was what happened in Sudbury three years ago that inspired a group of women to do something that had made them the darlings of the mine rescue world. Mine rescuer Kari Lentowicz of Saskatchewan was in Sudbury this week and remembered it well.

“Back in 2016 we were here in Sudbury at the International Mines Rescue Competition,” said Lentowicz on Wednesday when she spoke at the Workplace Safety North Mining Health and Safety conference.

“In that competition there were 189 competitors. Five were women. That was it.” That’s what prompted her to sit down with a group of friends and other mine rescue women to talk about creating their own all-female team of certified mine rescuers, something Lentowicz had been thinking about for several years. Continue Reading →

THE DRIFT: Miner and designer balances dual roles: Sudbury’s Alicia Woods finds passion in mining industry – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – April 5, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

When Alicia Woods was vying to enter the mining industry, she knew that name recognition would at least get her foot in the door, but it would take hard work to prove she deserved to be there.

Woods is the daughter of Paul Marcotte who, along with his brothers and father, founded Sudbury-based Marcotte Mining Machinery Services in 1979, designing and manufacturing underground utility vehicles.

As a kid, Woods loved hanging around her dad in the shop, and it was her long-time dream to one day work alongside him in the industry. “He never made me feel like it wasn’t an industry for me,” she said. “I never once felt that it wasn’t for girls.” Continue Reading →

The Lady Muckers take on the 41st Annual International Collegiate Mining Competition – by Jennifer Sande (Nevada Today – March 27, 2019)

https://www.unr.edu/

The Mackay Muckers had enough female recruits for both men’s and a women’s teams for the first time in five years.

When asked if she could think of a more proper term to describe her female team members other than “badass”, Claire Roberts, Captain of the Lady Muckers – the Mackay Muckers women’s team, thought for a minute before answering. “Kickass? That’s not much better, is it?” Roberts asked.

The “kickass” Lady Muckers competed on Friday, March 22nd in the 41st Annual International Collegiate Mining Competition in Virginia City alongside teams from all over the country and the world.

The teams compete in old-school mining techniques such as single jack hand steel (hammering a steel chisel into concrete by hand), jackleg drilling, hand mucking (shoveling “muck” or dirt into a mine cart and running it down and back a length of track), gold panning, track stand (quickly assembling an un-assembling a rail-cart track), and swede saw (sawing through a 4×4″ block of wood). Continue Reading →

Commodity Traders Say More Needs to Be Done to Promote Women – by Andy Hoffman and Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – March 27, 2019)

https://www.bloombergquint.com/

(Bloomberg) — More needs to be done to make the commodities industry welcoming to young women, who are less willing to put up with the sexist culture their older peers endured, female executives from trading houses, banks and mining companies said.

“It isn’t the Wolf of Wall Street, but it is a tough environment,” Wendy Moss, a veteran trader at Trafigura Group, said at the FT Global Commodities Summit in Lausanne. “If you are prepared for that, it can be a very rewarding career.”
Women account for less than 5 percent of senior management at top trading houses, Bloomberg reported last year, and companies are under pressure to improve gender parity. Continue Reading →

More women in mining ‘matters,’ Sudbury engineer says – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – March 9, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Samantha Espley will never forget her first day when she joined Falconbridge Limited not long after obtaining an engineering degree from the University of Toronto in 1988. “It was a sea of men,” she recalled, during her breakfast address Friday at the Steelworkers Hall on Brady Street to celebrate International Women’s Day. “I was so shocked. Over the years, I felt self-righteous. ‘How come there’s not enough women?’

“But over my 30 years, I realized there’s no women in the pipeline. There’s no females to draw from. There’s no women for the big companies to hire coming out of the schools and trade schools.”

Espley is the current director of Mining Technology & Innovation for Vale Base Metals, leading a team of highly specialized engineers and scientists providing technical support to Vale’s operating mines and projects in Canada, Brazil, New Caledonia and Indonesia. Continue Reading →

Celebrating a century of mining at Yukon – by Anne Turner (nee Lewis) and Lindsay Wilson (Northern Miner – January 8, 2019)

Northern Miner

http://www.yukonminingalliance.ca/

http://www.yukonwim.ca/index.html

Anne Turner (nee Lewis) is the executive director of the Yukon Mining Alliance (YMA). Lindsay Wilson is communications manager at YMA.

It was finding gold at Rabbit Creek and along the riverbeds of the Klondike that forever changed one of the world’s final frontiers — the Yukon Territory — and cemented the region’s roots as an inspiring Canadian mining district.

Yukon’s rich mining history continues to provide exciting discoveries, varied commodities and significant opportunities for northerners and investors alike. As we kick off 2019, we reflect on our history and the last year that has proved — through achievements, advancements and accolades — that Yukon is a mining district to follow and to celebrate.

In 1896, a hundred-thousand stampeders journeyed north, following the news of “Gold, gold, gold!” and “The Klondike gold rush begins” in papers from Seattle to San Francisco. Kate and George Carmack, Skookum Jim Mason, Dawson Charlie and Robert Henderson discovered placer gold at Rabbit Creek (later renamed Bonanza Creek) on Aug. 26. Continue Reading →

The story of Klondike Kate Carmack and the (modern day) sisters who moil for gold – by Joe O’Connor (Financial Post – January 4, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Five sisters are modern pioneers linked to a colourful prospecting past that includes Carmack, whose lying husband took credit for the Klondike strike and cheated her out of her fortune

During the summer, when by fate of their unpredictable schedules the five Bjorkman sisters actually find themselves together at their parents’ log home on Whiskyjack Lake, Ont., the conversation inevitably turns to rocks.

Jessica Bjorkman, the eldest sister at 38, might, for example, start talking about what she found or didn’t find, or the bear she had to run off, or the view from a B.C. mountain ridge that was so perfect she couldn’t quite believe it was real. Continue Reading →

On the frontline of the push for gender equity in mining – by Kylie Williams (CIM Magazine – December 18, 2018)

http://magazine.cim.org/en/

As a young exploration geologist in 1970, Barbara Caelles walked out on her first job when her manager told her there were simply “no facilities” to send a woman out in the field, as she had been promised a year earlier.

“I stood up and said, ‘Well, thank you. I don’t want an office job,’ and walked out,” Caelles recalled. “It was a catch-22. We all felt that you couldn’t be a geologist unless you had field experience, but fieldwork for women was more difficult to find. [Men] had no problems finding it.”

She was able to find another job the same day with a company that sent her to California where she began to build her field experience. She returned to Vancouver and spent the next decade as one of only a handful of women field geologists. She worked on a number of large field programs, including Hackett River and the Back River area in Nunavut, and numerous projects throughout British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. She also wrote and co-authored several scientific papers. Continue Reading →

Gina Rinehart: “Don’t call me an heiress” – by Andrew Hornery (Sydney Morning Herald – December 8, 2018)

https://www.smh.com.au/

Gina Rinehart ranks as the richest Australian ever, owns vast swathes of the continent, directly and indirectly employs tens of thousands of her fellow countrymen, has homes around the globe, travels in an $80 million private jet, is instantly recognisable across the land, has been the subject of a television mini-series and several bestsellers as well as having the ear of the Prime Minister.

Just don’t ever call her an “heiress”. I innocently made this incursion recently, only to be swiftly dealt with by Rinehart’s team of “communications specialists”, one of whom wrote to inform me she was hardly of the ilk of Paris Hilton.

Rinehart was disputing the term “heiress”: “When Lang Hancock passed away his estate was bankrupt, which is publicly available information. “In addition, Hancock Prospecting which he’d largely sold out of was in an extremely bad financial situation at time of his death in March 1992 with the few remaining assets under threat of litigation or heavily mortgaged. Tenements to Roy Hill were not in the company when Lang was alive – these were acquired after his death.” Continue Reading →

Young women in Yellowknife encouraged to pursue science, tech careers – by Randi Beers (CBC News Canada North – November 20, 2018)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

De Beers Canada luncheon promotes careers in science, technology, engineering and math

Akruthi Balaji has dreams of becoming a surgeon someday. The Grade 12 student was one of about 50 young women learning about all the possibilities for women in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematical fields — Monday in Yellowknife.

De Beers Canada organized the luncheon just as the Yellowknife Geoscience Forum gets underway this week. It starts Tuesday and runs through Thursday. Balaji isn’t intimidated by the prospect of entering a field she knows will be dominated by men.

“I do know there’s probably going to be a lot more men in whatever I am doing, but hopefully that can change and I really don’t feel that scared to go into it,” she said. Women are underrepresented in STEM fields. According to Statistics Canada, 39 per cent of STEM graduates are women, while women make up 66 per cent of all university graduates. Continue Reading →