Underground miner wins Resources Award

Sandra Collins, a Gladstone woman that fought the legislation preventing women from working in underground coal mines, has won the Resources Award for Women.

Sandra Collins, a Gladstone woman that fought the legislation preventing women from working in underground coal mines, has won the Resources Award for Women.

Collins, one of only two women to have managed a mine in Queensland, was presented with the Award at the Queensland Resources Council annual Women’s Day breakfast in Brisbane.

The event attracted more than 500 people from the state’s resource sector regions.

Collins was the first woman to study mining engineering in Queensland and only the second in Australia.

In 1985 she fought for and gained an exemption from NSW legislation that prevented women from working underground so that she could work and study for her underground mine management certification.

After a career that has spanned a number of countries and a variety of roles, Collins is currently managing Cement Australia’s East End Mine at Mount Larcom near Gladstone.

The 3.5million tonne per annum mine supplies limestone, alumina and silica for the company’s Fisherman’s Landing cement plant.

“I have achieved my career while raising my family for which I am the breadwinner,” Collins told MINING DAILY.

“Women are often under recognised in the mining industry, but by being a woman I feel as though I am given a certain amount of flexibility.

“No-one expects you to conform 100% to the norm so I have the freedom to shake things up, challenge the status-quo and achieve the desired outcome quickly and efficiently.”

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