Women blazing their own trail in mining sector

Georgetown, GINA, November 25, 2016

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission’s (GGMC), Geological Survey Unit is undertaking a geological mineral survey in the Itaballi area as part of an effort to map the mineral deposits.

Among those conducting field tests and studies for the project in the Region Seven area are several women.

Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources Simona Broomes (center) with female mining officers from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission’s, Geological Survey Unit at a geological mineral survey in the Itaballi Area, Region Seven.

Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources Simona Broomes (center) with female mining officers from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission’s, Geological Survey Unit at a geological mineral survey in the Itaballi Area, Region Seven.

Some $40 million has been budgeted for the eight -week Regional Geological Sampling project. The project is being conducted by 42 GGMC officers including eight females and auxiliary staff. It started on October 13 and is due to be completed by December 8, 2016.

A University of Guyana (UG) scholar now Chemical Geologist, Nkechi McPherson, started at the GGMC in 2011. According to her, the field experience has been good. “It’s a lot of hard work so you should be active before you get in the field or else you’ll really feel the pressure.”

McPherson added that this is the first trip where she led her own team of GGMC staffers. “You have to be confident in yourself and you have to understand that not everything you see on the map is what will be on the ground so you have to cater for all of those uncertainties.”

GGMC’s Geologist, Tiace Fraser, who started her stint in 2009, views her career as a challenge, but one that she likes. “You know it challenges your mind and your body at the same time. When you’re out there you have to think about the dangers, but at the same time you have to keep pushing yourself.”

For Tricia Tulluck, this is her first trip into the fields. The Geological Technician noted that, “It is quite interesting, I like it a lot. I didn’t expect to like it but I do, I really do. You get to experience new things and realise that you’re not fit, sometimes you need to exercise. You learn a lot about your country.”

Senior Geologist, Unata DeFreitas has already served more than 19 years with the GGMC. The veteran pointed out that more females are

Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes showing her skill at batelling in Itabali

Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes showing her skill at batelling in Itabali

finding the career and the environment suitable. There is lot of experience to be gained, De Frietas added, “more so what is given back to our country. We have a passion for the natural patrimony and we understand that the more information we get, the better position our country will be in.”

Getting a firsthand look at the project was Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, who described herself as living evidence of what women can achieve in the sector.

“People say, oh she’s a miner, she’s a porknocker but look at me now, I’m a minister. The sky is the limit. I would want to encourage women to get involved. We are tidier. We can make a difference in these areas.”

The Minister who was a successful mining operator, said she really admired the female geologists, “who spoke about their passion so when we come to do things we do it in a particular way, looking for that result. The vision, the opportunity is real.”

 

 

By: Paul McAdam

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