Archive | Women in Mining

Leadership is really about recognizing talent, Lucara Diamond CEO says – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – October 15, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Eira Thomas is the chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp., which she co-founded in 2007. Ms. Thomas has more than 25 years of experience in the mining industry, including 14 years in various roles with Aber Diamond Corp. (now Dominion Diamond Mines) and as co-founder of Stornoway Diamond Corp., serving first as CEO and then as executive chairman.

Ms. Thomas was also CEO of Kaminak Gold Corp., which was acquired by Goldcorp in 2016 for $520-million. I was born in Calgary in 1968 the daughter of a mining engineer who then got the exploration bug and later started his own exploration company, Aber Diamond. I have three siblings, a brother and two sisters.

I’m the oldest. My brother is also in the mining business. One of my sisters is a winemaker in the Okanagan and the other is currently a stay-at-home mom. My mother was involved in banking and finance, but she left her job to become the primary caregiver of four children. Continue Reading →

The Bikinis Are Gone, But Change Is Slow for London’s Metal Boys – by Lynn Thomasson and Lucca de Paoli (Bloomberg News – October 12, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

(Bloomberg) — Strip clubs, lap dances in limousines, and waitresses in bikinis. For decades, there’s been a very seamy side to the nightlife at London’s annual get-together for the metal-trading world.

The sexist entertainment at LME Week parties has been chronicled by British tabloids for years, but it’s starting to change — slowly. At this year’s LME Week, some companies kept the risque corporate events. Others have given it up.

Gerald Metals, which bills itself as the oldest pure physical metals merchant, threw its party for clients and customers at the Playboy Club, as it has done for many years. The London casino is known for women wearing low-cut, black satin leotards and fluffy tails serving drinks and dancing with guests. Continue Reading →

Kate Carmack will be joining nation’s mining hall of fame (Whitehorse Star – October 11, 2018)

https://www.whitehorsestar.com/

The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame (CMHF) will welcome five individuals who have made lasting contributions to Canada’s mining industry – including a Yukon legend.

Kate Carmack is included in the inductees. She will be joining the Klondike Discoverers, who were originally inducted as a group in 1999. The group included George Carmack, Robert Henderson, Skookum Jim Mason and Dawson Charlie.

Each have traditionally been credited with the discovery that led to the Klondike Gold Rush, which would essentially establish the Yukon. New information has been uncovered that Kate Carmack also played an integral role in the discovery. Continue Reading →

Chamber of mines responds to allegations made at MMIWG hearings – by Alex Buchan (Nunatsiaq News – September 20, 2018)

http://nunatsiaq.com/

Alex Buchan is the V.P Chamber—Nunavut N.W.T. and Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

I wish to respond to the recent Nunatsiaq News story regarding violence against women in mining (“Sexual violence a spinoff of Nunavut’s mining industry: MMIWG hearings,” Sept. 13, 2018).

This article makes substantial reference to expert testimony from an Iqaluit resident—TJ Lightfoot—to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls held in Iqaluit last week.

With great respect to the actual professional credentials of this expert, Lightfoot is not an expert on mining in Nunavut. In fact, I understand Lightfoot is a youth services worker. As such, these views cannot be relied upon in considering the risk to women that may, or may not, be posed by resource development in our territory. Continue Reading →

Australian mining’s macho image worsens pain of labor shortage – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – September 21, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – When the song “Eagle Rock” played at a bar in an outback Australian mining town of Kalgoorlie late one night, a dozen young men scattered around a pool table dropped their trousers and heartily sang along in their underwear.

Later that night, they piled behind the counter of the bar attached to the Western Australian School of Mines (WASM), singing an anthem that began, “We are engineers,” and finished with an obscene description of how they treat women.

The scenes, in the background of an industry conference, cut against a hard reality the sector faces: a dearth of skilled applicants, and a workforce hurting for diversity and struggling to hire women. Continue Reading →

Winter workers: How cold-adapted bacteria can benefit miners – by Christopher Pollon (CIM Magazine – September 06, 2018)

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

Nadia Mykytczuk, Industrial Research Chair in biomining, bioremediation and science communication at Laurentian University, spends a lot of time studying how micro-organisms like bacteria can be used to extract minerals and re-process legacy mine waste, all of which can reduce the environmental liabilities of mining.

As one of the few mining microbiologists focused on cold environments like Canada, she is working to create a Centre for Mine Waste Biotechnology that will nurture the next generation of scientists, companies and microbial mining tools.

CIM: What path led you to your current work at Laurentian University?

Mykytczuk: Very early on I was focused on how microbes work in various environments. While I was an undergrad at Carleton University, I got a co-op placement at the National Research Council looking at vaccine development for various pathogens; for my PhD at Laurentian, I looked at the adaptation of acid mine drainage (AMD) bacteria to acidic and cold environments. Continue Reading →

Women were only let into underground mines 30 years ago, so why are they leaving the industry? – by Isabel Moussalli (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – August 14, 2018)

http://www.abc.net.au/

When Alex Atkins joined the WA School of Mines in 1986, she had no idea she would be part of the first wave of women legally allowed to work in underground mines.

Until 1986, West Australian mine owners faced fines of up to $500 if women were caught working underground. New South Wales and Queensland changed their laws in 1989. But 32 years later, Ms Atkins said more changes were needed to bring the industry up to speed and encourage more women to stay.

The mining industry has long presented barriers for the participation of women — the lack of flexible work arrangements, the reliance on fly-in-fly-out labour, and the dominance of men in senior positions. Continue Reading →

Cat Calling, Whistling and Groping Greet Women in Mines of Chile – by Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – August 8, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Despite efforts pushing for gender equality, the Chilean mining industry, slow to change, is still notoriously inhospitable to women.

The first time Karen Requena entered the cafeteria at BHP Billiton’s massive Escondida mining operation in northern Chile, she couldn’t help feeling countless eyes fixed on her body as she walked across the vast hall.

“It can’t get worse than that,” she thought. Then as Requena looked for a place to sit, the noise started. Thousands of men began banging their knives and forks against their plates. The pace of the deafening clattering picked up as she searched for an empty seat.

That’s how it went day in and day out at the world’s largest copper mine. It was 2012, and Requena was working 10-day shifts as an Escondida safety officer for BHP Billiton contractor Villatol. Soon she began eating in her room alone. Continue Reading →

Paul Conibear to step aside as Lundin Mining CEO; CFO Marie Inkster to become CEO – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 26, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Paul Conibear, Lundin Mining Corp.’s long-serving chief executive officer, has decided to retire, and will be replaced by current chief financial officer Marie Inkster at the end of the year.

Mr. Conibear, 61, has been Lundin’s CEO since 2011. He will continue to sit on a number of boards but has “no intention of ever working full time again,” and intends to pursue interests outside of mining, he said in an interview on Wednesday.

Ms. Inkster will be one of the first female CEOs of a major mining company in Canada. The changing of the guard at one of Canada’s biggest base-metals companies comes as Lundin is getting ready to ramp up its attempts to buy Nevsun Resources Ltd. Continue Reading →

Eira Thomas takes the reins at Lucara – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – June 19, 2018)

http://www.northernminer.com/

Lightning has struck more than once so far in Eira Thomas’s career of more than 25 years. The geologist famously spotted a nearly 2-carat diamond in drill core — an incredibly rare occurrence — during exploration at Lac de Gras in 1994, at what would become the Diavik mine in the Northwest Territories.

And as a founder and director of Lucara Diamond (TSX: LUC), she was part of the leadership when the company unearthed a 1,109-carat stone — the second largest diamond in history — at its Karowe mine in Botswana in November 2015.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” said Thomas in an interview in May. “Those were obviously two exciting milestones for me in my career, but I think with each and every project that I’ve worked on there’ve been those moments.” Continue Reading →

Copper King Pushes Gender Diversity — With All-Male Board – by Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – May 28, 2018)

https://www.bloombergquint.com/

(Bloomberg) — As it battles to remain the world’s biggest copper producer, Codelco just achieved a new, less enviable mantle — the only major mining company with an all-male board and senior management team.

On Friday, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera tapped executive Juan Benavides to be chairman of the state-owned company. Earlier this month, he appointed Hernan de Solminihac and Patricio Briones as directors, replacing Dante Contreras and Laura Albornoz, then the only woman on the nine-member board. Chile is the biggest copper-mining nation.

Gender diversity is one of Codelco’s strategic objectives, according to its annual report. But the company has no women in top management, including vice presidents or mine managers. Women make up just 5.4 percent of the company’s senior administrators and 9.5 percent of its total workforce. To be sure, that last figure is higher than the average in Chilean mines. Continue Reading →

All-women mine rescue team hoping to break down barriers – by Alex MacPherson *Saskatoon StarPhoenix – May 14, 2018)

http://thestarphoenix.com/

Kari Lentowicz hopes taking what is thought to be the world’s first all-female mine rescue team to a major competition in Russia will help demolish barriers in a male-dominated industry.

The seven-member group, nicknamed Diamonds in the Rough, is currently raising the $84,000 it needs to travel to Ekaterinburg for the 2018 iteration of the biennial International Mines Rescue Competition.

Lentowicz, who spent more than a decade working in Saskatchewan’s mining industry and has spoken previously about her struggles in a sector dominated by men, is serving as the Diamonds’ coach. Continue Reading →

Samantha Espley: Sudbury miner named head of Canadian Institute of Mining council – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – April 30, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Samantha Espley has been named the incoming president of the Presidents Council for the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) for the 2020-2021 year. Espley is the director of Vale’s Technical Excellence Centre of Mining and Mineral Processing in Sudbury.

“I feel honoured to be asked to lead CIM. It’s an amazing feeling,” Espley said in an April 25 news release. “A big question now is how the Canadian mining industry can stay competitive in the global industry. I think CIM can play a major role in that, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Espley, who has more than 25 years in the industry, is a board member of MIRARCO and the Canada Mining Innovation Council and a past member of the executive board of Engineers Canada, Science North, and the Sudbury branches of Women in Science and Engineering and Professional Engineers Ontario. Continue Reading →

You Don’t Have to Dig a Mine to Run One, Female Leaders Say – by Danielle Bochove and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – May 3, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Eira Thomas has discovered diamonds in the far north, co-founded mining companies and sat on a dozen boards — including Canada’s most valuable energy company.

So the 49-year-old was a little taken aback when an investor recently suggested she needed to hire an engineer as chief operating officer to back her up in the executive suite. She was, after all, only a geologist.

“I’m 30 years in this business,” said Thomas, who took over as chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp. in February. “I’ve been involved in multiple projects that have gone on to become mines. I sit on the board of Suncor. And I just wonder if a male, newly appointed CEO with the same credentials, would have faced the same commentary?’’ Continue Reading →

Strip-Club Promos Vie With Gender Equality at Mining Expo – by Laura Millan Lombrana (Bloomberg News – April 26, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Latin America’s top mining exposition kicked off with a seminar on promoting gender equality. Meanwhile, at the exhibition center a few miles away, women in tight dresses and high heels posed next to mining tool booths and strip-club promoters at the entrance offered two-for-one drink coupons to attendees.

The week-long Expomin event in Chile offered a glimpse at both how far the industry has come — and how far it has to go. The last time the event was held, in 2016, Chile’s then Mining Minister Aurora Williams called for an end to the use of women as a commercial hook and set a 10 percent target of female participation in the sector for 2018. The industry hasn’t yet met that goal.

As a symbol of its commitment, Expomin opened with its “Women and Mining” panel. About half of the speakers at the session were women, a marked contrast with the overall event. Continue Reading →