All the activity on the massif involves 100-tonne trucks and excavators or other hydraulic shovels. Mine Operators are at the helm of these powerful machines as they move earth and mine and haul ore from the massif.
Mine Operators are the professionals at the very first step in our production process!
WHAT DOES THIS PERSON DO?
Prepares the terrain and hauls ore
Mine Operators are the first to intervene on the massif. Their mandate is to make a clean sweep by moving large volumes of ore and waste rock. It is precision work, as spot heights and dimensions must be respected (height, depth, width). Theirs too is the task of extracting and hauling the mineral-bearing ore to the conveyor that carries it down to the Metallurgical Plant. To ensure the best possible conditions for mining and hauling ore, Mine Operators also carry out the earthworks and construction needed for managing rainwater and groundwater, especially drainage structures. Their work is done with sophisticated and expensive machines on wheels or tracks, for which they are entirely responsible.
Mine Operators must keep the heavy equipment in good operating condition. They must therefore maintain it proactively and be on the lookout for any irregularity, malfunction or failure. They thus interact regularly with the heavy equipment maintenance teams.
What are the essential qualities?
Precision and organisation
The precision work done by Mine Operators calls for organisation and attentiveness. Following procedures includes knowing how to take note of distances and topography and having a good sense of balance.
Alertness and good physical condition
Safety is no a joking matter! Production work is done amidst heavy equipment like loaders, shovels, excavators and 100-tonne trucks, but also amidst light vehicles and people on foot. Mine Operators must be aware of everything if they are to avoid equipment damage and human injury. They also work irregular hours and in any weather, so they must maintain a healthy lifestyle and show a fair amount of physical resilience.
Maintenance and respect
Knowing how to operate heavy equipment is not enough: Mine Operators must also be able to maintain it (lubricate and check oil and other fluid levels) and be alert to irregularities and malfunctions, which are referred to the heavy equipment maintenance teams. Mine Operators work in teams, and respect for one another is vital for good teamwork. Mine Operators also attend meetings, contribute to task forces, help with investigations, and help to resolve problems related to their tasks.
Mine Operators hold a level V diploma, namely the CAP (certificate of professional aptitude) in heavy equipment operation.
In New Caledonia, this training is offered at the Centre de formation aux techniques de la mine et des carrières (mining and quarry technical training centre).
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