Megan feels right at home
SORTING valuable material from worthless dirt is one of the most important jobs in a mining operation, and the job falls on Megan Kropp’s shoulders.
“Here we use size, density and magnetism to sort the valuable from the non-valuable,” she said.
“In coal mines you can also use flotation.
“I’m naturally a maths person so I love the problem-solving side of it.”
Even once they came up with the theory behind sorting processes, Ms Kropp was still always busy fine-tuning and fixing problems to keep the whole operation moving.
Going into the mining industry was almost a rite of passage for her after growing up in Mt Isa.
“I did some vacation work on a mine and I really enjoyed it,” she said.
“So I studied what would now be chemical
EQUALITY: Megan Kropp is a supervisor in the mine’s processing plant and said the job offered heaps of opportunities for women. engineering – it was a bit different back then.
“I think women should go for it, if they like the idea of mining. If you enjoy it you will stick with it.”
Rather than any gender issues, Ms Kropp said one of the toughest things to get used to in mining was the heat and humidity.
“I’ve only been here for a couple of weeks. I was at the Mackay coal fields before this,” she said. “This job will bring me out of the office a lot. I just have to get used to the humidity.
“I’ve never thought of gender as an issue. I really think our diversity comes from getting to know different people.
“I’m much more interested in getting to know people and why they do things, and learning from them.
“And because this is such a small operation, there is more of an opportunity to meet people.”
Despite the proliferation of mining in Australia, Ms Kropp said on the inside, the industry was small and friendly.
“I’ve never worked on a site where I didn’t already know someone. It’s really a small industry where you get to know everyone,” she said.
“And it means you can always contact someone if you have a problem. No problem is new, they have all happened and been fixed before.”