Always on the move

For most people working 9 to 5, their commute involves hopping on a train or driving a car. But Tracy Newington, supervisor of mobile equipment maintenance (MEM) projects and overhauls at the Rio Tinto Yandicoogina iron mine in Australia, takes commuting to a new level by jetting every week or so between her home in Perth and the mine some 1,500 kilometres to the north.

You’re certainly no stranger to mining sites, are you?
“I’ve worked on many remote mine sites all over Australia. Since completing my heavy diesel mechanical apprenticeship in 1993, I’ve spent all my working life in the Australian mining and construction industry.”

What does the job of supervisor of MEM projects and overhauls entail?
“I help ensure that rebuilds on heavy mobile equipment and general project activities are carried out in a safe and efficient way on a variety of mining and workshop equipment.”

What are the biggest challenges you face?
“I guess the biggest challenge is the size of Australia. Managing logistics across the continent can be daunting at times.”

How’s the working relationship with Sandvik?
“I get fantastic support for underground equipment from Sandvik National Product Support Team and the Canning Vale Facility in Perth, West Australia, for parts, training and product advice.”

About Tracy Newington

POSITION: Supervisor MEM projects and overhauls, Rio Tinto Yandicoogina iron mine, Australia.
RESIDENCE: Perth, Australia.
FAMILY: Husband Darren and their three dogs.
CAREER: Started as a diesel mechanic, before shifting up a notch when she joined Sandvik as a service technician in 2003. In September 2012, she moved to Rio Tinto for her current post.

Described as “Rio Tinto’s First Mine of the Future”, Yandicoogina is an open pit mining operation that commenced production in 1998. One pit is already run on a fully autonomous basis with 10 driverless trucks operating around the clock.