It is not too long ago that it would have been totally inconceivable for a black woman to playa significant role in the mining industry. These days, this industry still primarily a male preserve.

Women still have a long journey ahead of them before they can be said to have reached true equality, women are slowly beginning to play more than a meaningful role in our country’s mining industry. Lets have a look at some of Kalagadi's woman in mining


Teammember
TSHEGO GASEKOMASinter Section Head

I was born in a place called Matlapaneng in Taung. This is where I received my primary school education at Molale Memorial School.

I matriculated in 1994 at St. Paul‟s High School in Taung. I then graduated with a Diploma in Metallurgical Engineering and B-Tech Extraction Metallurgy from Technikon Witwatersrand and an MDP from the University of Pretoria.

My career started as a learner official of De Beers Finsch Mine in 1995 where I obtained both experiential training as well as my qualification as a metallurgist. Upon my graduation I then progressed to be appointed as a Senior Plant metallurgist responsible for process optimisation and plant improvement projects. After three years as a Senior Plant Metallurgist, I then joined Samancor Chrome Mine as a Plant Superintendent.

It was in this role that I got exposure to the production environment where I dealt with people management, production planning, budgeting (CAPEX and OPEX), restructuring, HR and IR, skills development and carrying all legal responsibilities relevant to the plant.

After serving for three years in this role I then went on to play a role as Project Superintendent where I executed capital projects, a role I played till I left the industry to pursue personal interests. After two and half years I decided to get back to the industry, which is when I joined Kalagadi Manganese.


Teammember
MPHO MAIFALEProcess Engineer

I was born and raised in Mantserre, a small village outside the mining town of Swartklip, in the North West Province. This is where I lived until the age of twelve, before moving to Kanana, a Bafokeng village which is a few kilometres outside Rustenburg.

I was born and raised in Mantserre, a small village outside the mining town of Swartklip, in the North West Province. This is where I lived until the age of twelve, before moving to Kanana, a Bafokeng village which is a few kilometres outside Rustenburg.

I matriculated in 1994 at St. Paul‟s High School in Taung. I then graduated with a Diploma in Metallurgical Engineering and B-Tech Extraction Metallurgy from Technikon Witwatersrand and an MDP from the University of Pretoria.

I completed my matric in 1998 in Sekete IV High School in Kanana. I was selected to attend Anglo Platinum winter classes during my matric year, as I was among the best Mathematics and Physical Science learners within the Bafokeng High Schools.

It was at that time that I got introduced to the different engineering careers/disciplines within the mining industry. Upon this, I then applied to different institutions to study Metallurgical Engineering and was accepted in the then called Technikon Pretoria, now called Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), where I obtained my National Diploma and B-Tech Degree in Engineering Metallurgy.

I started working in 2002 as a Senior Plant Operator on a Platinum Group Metals concentrator plant at LONMIN. I then went/worked up the ranks as a Control Room Operator, Process Controller, and acted as a Shift Foreman and a Metallurgist as well. In 2008 I left LONMIN and joined MINOPEX at one of their Platinum operations as a Shift Superintendent and Metallurgist. I left MINOPEX in 2011 to join Kalagadi Manganese as a Process Engineer.

My current responsibilities include, among other things: technical adjudication on tender proposals, process design and mass balance reviews, compilation and review of Code Of Practices and Standard Operating Procedures, compilation of process personnel job descriptions, providing process support to other engineering disciplines, and performing such duties as may reasonably be assigned by the Project Manager and the Technical Manager


Teammember
PORTIA MOLOKOMMEProcess Engineer

I am a Process Engineer with experience in base metal and PGM refinery commissioning and operation. I was born in Winterveldt, Mabopane, 30km North of Pretoria.

This is where I spent my early childhood years, before I went to stay with my late grandmother in a village called Sodoma (official name Rebone), Ga-Matlala, in the then Potgietersrus. Later on I moved back to Mabopane to complete my secondary schooling and matriculated at Ngaka Maseko High School.

Upon completing my matric, I enrolled for a National Diploma in Metallurgical Engineering at the then Technikon Pretoria. The course choice was purely strategic for me to get financial aid, and had initially nothing to do with the love for engineering. I received a partial grant from Studietrust on condition that I studied metallurgy. I graduated with a National Diploma and B- Tech Degree in Metallurgical Engineering, from Technikon Pretoria.

My career started in 2002 when I worked as a commissioning assistant on a project for start- up and commissioning of a world first zinc carbonate ore processing plant using solvent extraction, Skorpion Zinc Project, in Rosh Pinah, Namibia. It is here where my technical skills and understanding of metallurgical processes were honed. Upon completion of the Skorpion Zinc project I moved onto several other projects at different stages, from feasibility studies up to execution, as a Process Engineer.

My current role at Kalagadi is quite diverse; it allows me to challenge myself as I find myself doing things that are not usual for my discipline, like compiling a Code of Practice for trackless mobile machinery, amongst other things. My main responsibilities entail ensuring operability and functionality of the plant design with an emphasis on adherence to Safety, Health and Environmental Standards to ensure compliance with legislative requirements.

Other responsibilities include provision of input into the commissioning and start-up review plans, preparing operational documentation such as Standard Operating Procedures and involvement in ad hoc business/process optimization exercises as required. As we proceed with the commissioning phase my role will encompass testing the process control system, preparing milestone reports and training and mentoring of our plant operators to get them ready for plant operation.


Teammember
FEZIWE HLATSHWAYOSenior Geologist

I was born at Mtshabe location, a village in Tsomo in the rural Eastern Cape (former Transkei). I did my primary schooling there and moved to Idutywa for my senior secondary schooling. I completed my matric at Colosa High School in Idutywa.

My high school teacher advised me to do geology because of my fascination with the makeup of the earth and my keen interest in geography and minerals. I enrolled at the University of the Western Cape for BSc and majored in Geology and Mathematical Statistics. I followed with my Honours degree in 2002.

My career started in 2003 with Matla Colliery as a Geologist - in -Training. I was responsible for underground grade control, monitoring of mining horizons to control contamination and logging of exploration boreholes.

In September 2004, I moved to De Beers as a Project Geologist - Systems (Resource Extension Project) at the Venetia Mine, where I mainly worked on the drilling and logging program doing geological logging, geotechnical logging, sampling and QA/QC on geological databases.

In October 2009, I then moved to Exxaro's Glen Douglas Mine an open pit dolomite mine in the Vaal. I was responsible for all the geological aspects of the mine. I was responsible for mining monitoring, grade monitoring, providing data for resource estimation /reserve depletion and reporting.

I joined Kalagadi in January 2012 as a Senior Geologist. In this role my responsibilities include, but not limited to, mainly supporting the mine planning and shaft development teams, reporting, assisting in the development of geological systems and liaising with outside independent consultants doing geological work for Kalagadi.