A manager of the people
As an unabashed people person, Managing Director of Northparkes Mines Stefanie Loader prides herself on putting her colleagues in a position to succeed.
Why did you choose to enter the mining industry?
I had a wonderfully charismatic chemistry teacher who convinced me to apply for a “Women in Science” scholarship in my final year of high school. I had applied for a place in medicine at university, as was expected of me since I was good at math and science. I worked out that chemists spend a lot of time inside and geologists spend a lot of time outside, so I convinced the scholarship providers to add geology to their list of suitable sciences, and I never looked back.
About Stefanie Loader
Title: Managing Director, CMOC Northparkes Mines
Company: CMOC – China Molybdenum Co., Ltd.
Residence: New South Wales, Australia
Family: Husband Brendan, two children, Philip (8) and Sofia (5)
Hobbies: Gardening, cooking with my kids and observing politics.
What are your responsibilities as Managing Director?
My role is all about supporting people to be successful. I see it as my responsibility to provide an organization and resources that support it so that everyone goes home every day safe, healthy and with a sense of satisfaction about what they have contributed to our business.
What are some of the bigger challenges you face?
The biggest challenge that I think about every day is how we will achieve ‘Zero Harm’. I know that Zero Harm Operations, as we call the approach here at Northparkes, supports success for everyone – our neighbours, our environment and our equipment. I search every day inside and outside our industry for new ways to mix up what I believe are the right base ingredients in the Zero Harm ‘cake’.
What are the most interesting aspects of your job?
People, people, people and people. I get my energy and enthusiasm every day from the people of Northparkes. Listening to and learning from people and then taking every opportunity to inspire and motivate them are the most interesting and rewarding parts of my job.
Describe your working relationship with Sandvik Mining.
Northparkes and Sandvik have been in partnership since the first Sandvik loaders arrived in the first underground block cave mine in 1997. Today we have a fleet of automated Sandvik loaders that are operated from the surface using the Sandvik AutoMine system. Sandvik runs one of the best underground workshops in the world at Northparkes to service our loaders. Every tour group we bring in comments on the housekeeping and organization of the Sandvik workshop.
Do you foresee more women entering the mining sector?
At Northparkes around one in five of our workforce are women, which is higher than average. However, we do not have the best possible workforce if we are not adequately tapping into the population at large. We have set ourselves targets to increase the number of female applicants for roles. We are focused on getting women in through the door, which means broadening the appeal of our workplace and our industry to women.
Northparkes is a copper and gold mine located 27 kilometres north west of Parkes in the Central West of New South Wales, Australia. The mine has an operational capacity to process six million tonnes of ore per year, containing roughly 60,000 tonnes of copper and 50,000 ounces of gold.
The mine was the first in Australia to use the highly efficient block cave mining method, now used in several mines throughout the country.