Megan feels right at home

Central and North Burnett Times - - WOMEN IN MINING -

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.”

PHOTO: EMILY SMITH

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