PHIC Members Roy Hill and Pilbara Minerals joined forces in July to host 15 students involved in Curtin University’s Girls in STEM program on a tour of both mine sites.

Getting a feel for the mining life started with an early flight to Roy Hill followed by tours through the various areas on the mine site including the Robotics Lab. This was followed by a presentation on the mining process, from start to finish, Q&A session with mine site General Managers Ian Wallace and Phil Renehan.

There were lots of questions about how the workers cope with life away from home, with many having concerns about the early morning starts and being lonely. Ian and Phil provided open and honest feedback, giving the girls a knowledgeable yet positive impression of the community that is created when you’re FIFO.

The students were then taken for a tour ran by Superintendent Kevin Weary through the Mobile Maintenance workshop where they were able to see the scale of just how large the trucks really are! The shock was evident, and the girls were all thrilled to be able to climb on board.

After a lunch break the students had the chance to meet some of our Engineers and go through what a day in the life looks like. This was followed by a tour through the robotics lab, which was a highlight for two of the students who are part of the Roboacademy through the Girls in STEM program.

The day ended with a BBQ for the students accompanied by our leaders, hosts, and some of the team who they met along the way. Closing the night with a thank you speech from Chief Operations Officer Anthony Kirke.

The next morning, the students set off by bus, via Newman, to the Pilgangoora site which gave them a sense of the beauty and scale of the Pilbara landscape.  Once they arrived at site in late afternoon, COO, Dale Henderson and Operations Manager, Simon Coyle, presented an introduction and project overview before taking them on a tour of the mine pit.

The students learned about the important role that lithium produced at Pilgangoora plays in battery production and the transition to a low-carbon energy supply. It is an exciting time for engineers finding local solutions to global challenges.

The day wrapped up with dinner at the Carlindi Camp, where the students sampled the range of meals and desserts on offer. They experienced first-hand the importance of tasty and nutritious food to a FIFO worker’s life as well as sleeping in a donga and waking up bright and early, and packing crib (lunch) for the day.

The site tour continued the next day with a visit to the processing plant hosted by Tryphena Mitchell and Jarrad Stevens.  The students had the opportunity to spend time with, and ask questions, about the challenges females face in the mining industry, the importance of work/life balance, as well as the career opportunities it provides to female employees.

On the 90-minute bus trip to Port Hedland, the students enjoyed a picnic lunch before embarking on a port tour hosted by the Seafarers Centre Port Hedland.

Both Roy Hill and Pilbara Minerals were grateful to be able to host a group of such incredible young women.

We thank the Girls in STEM Program and the Curtin University hosts, Gina and Aleesha for their hard work and dedication.

A big thank you also to the girls who participated in the tour, we hope to see you back soon ready to take on your careers.