Mineral Processing Operator
Dawn Hamilton has been working in the mining industry for almost six years. She started as a process technician, then worked as a haul-truck operator and now works in the chemical laboratory as a sampler analyst performing quality control.
Dawn works with a team leader, chemist and three analysts. It’s a close team environment, everyone has to communicate closely with each other since the work of one team member has an impact on the work of others.
“We have many different stations where we perform tasks,” says Dawn. “At the “quicks” bench, we dry, split and weigh ore samples, and then use automation to get a chemical read out on the samples. “Inside quicks” is another part of the lab where we measure for magnetic content, for iron, silica and carbon. The third station is where we test the iron pellets. Each station has an important role in the overall process. For example, the results on an hourly basis are used by the Pelletizing and Concentrating Team leaders to make adjustments to the quality output, resulting in a final product that is within conformance of customer requirements.”
“I’m learning something new every day and I’ve benefited from training and mentoring at every stage of my career progression. I had a mentor for several weeks when I first became an analyst”.
Dawn believes that to do well as a processing operator technician, a person needs strong inter-personal and communications skills and be disciplined and safety conscious not only in terms of his or her own safety, but that of others, too.
In Dawn’s view, the opportunities and options in mining are endless. She also notes that, “Some women believe that it’s difficult working with men at a mine. But the fact is, it’s an inclusive, respectful environment.”