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<p>Maria Isabel Avila Torres is trained to haul zinc out of the Velardeña mine in northern Mexico. It’s a job that requires caution.</p>
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Maria Isabel Avila Torres is trained to haul zinc out of the Velardeña mine in northern Mexico. It’s a job that requires caution.

Driving in the dark

When it comes to hauling zinc out of the Velardeña mine in northern Mexico, Maria Isabel Avila Torres’s first responsibility is to drive with caution. There are many points in the mine with reduced visibility, so she must take care no one is traversing the route she is using. With proper training Avila Torres has been able to meet that challenge.

Was it challenging at first to handle such large equipment?
At first I found it very difficult, but over time I got used to it. It’s not easy to operate it, but it’s not hard either. But yes, it’s large machinery.

How did the training help?
The training teaches you to handle the equipment, and bit by bit it gets easier. As it continues you learn to manage the equipment better.

What kind of condition is the equipment in, and how does Sandvik maintenance help?
The equipment is kept in top condition. Sandvik provides very complete service. If it’s missing oil, they add oil. They check the air in the tires, the filters – everything.

Does the service help your performance when you’re using the equipment?
Oh yes. I drive with more confidence and more security.

What does it mean for you to have this job?
It’s very important. There’s no employment here except for the mine. I thank God to be here. It’s really great to have the opportunity to be here working at Velardeña.

About Maria Isabel Avila Torres

Position: Underground truck operator
Age: 27
Family: One child
Hometown: Velardeña, Mexico
Hobbies: Listening to music, watching television

Text: Dale Quinn/Photo: Joshua Drake