From a Mine Geologist to a General Manager at Evolution Mining, Kirsty Liddicoat’s professional journey has been full of undulating moments, hard work, and dedication. Kirsty is a skilled mining professional who leads by example. She ensures the smooth running of the mining operations for more than 17 years. In addition, she is also past chair of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Women in Mining group that focuses on the attraction and retention of women in the mining industry.
We, at Insights Success, caught up with Kirsty to unveil her inspiring journey, her leadership approach, and her contribution to the mining industry.
Natural Ability to Lead Safely
Kirsty is managing Evolution Mining’s Red Lake Operations in Ontario, Canada. Her aspiration as General Manager for the Red Lake Gold Mine is to continue to strengthen her team’s way of thinking when it comes to safety, culture, and innovation. Safety is one of the company’s core values, the others being Respect, Accountability, and Excellence. The team at Evolution lives by these values every day.
The Red Lake Gold Mine has been around since the 1950s. It has gone through several ownership changes, thus making it a challenge to feel a sense of security and community. Kirsty hopes to change the mindset of the safety culture by encouraging people to report and speak out about unsafe practices and be rewarded rather than reprimanded. Evolution Mining has already seen a huge impact on how this has improved the safety culture at the Red Lake Mine and is bringing everyone together to work safely.
A Strong Believer of Positive Work Culture
Kirsty strongly believes in a culture that drives safety and productivity. Her team’s ability to do the job starts with a positive work culture. Through active coaching and positive leadership behaviors, she drives a culture where people feel accepted, included, and empowered. At Red Lake, Kirsty has started creating a vision for the site and linking the vision to the company’s culture and objectives. Her team uses this as the base to implement its transformational journey, and Kirsty is really excited by the energy, engagement, and success they have had over the last 12 months.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Mining supplies the raw materials to support the economy and to drive the World forward. The industry is leading research, innovation, and energy reduction to lighten the load on fossil fuels. At Evolution Mining, Kirsty and her team are currently working on several projects to target emission reductions, including electric fleet transitions and battery storage. Evolution Mining is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 (Scope 1 and 2 from an FY20 baseline) and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.
Kirsty opines that the COVID-19 has brought several challenges to the Mining & Metals Industry here at the Evolution Gold Mine in Red Lake. While the pandemic has impacted everyone in the community, its priority is always keeping its people safe.
One of the greatest challenges Evolution Mining faced has been the lack of supply of critical items and infrastructure, especially being in such a remote location in Canada. This has increased delays in receiving items and thus has slowed down the progression of projects throughout COVID. Additionally, due to the pandemic, with travel outside of the country or even outside of the district restricted, the ability to access the global network talent pool has been a challenge. The organization had to depend on internet service and webcams to allow face-to-face interactions.
However, Evolution mining has been very fortunate in the mining industry to continue to work and work from home where necessary. This has helped reduce the impact on the local community by still supporting jobs within Red Lake. The company has also supported and promoted the economic welfare of local Red Lake groups and businesses through working alongside them and rewarding recognized employees with gift cards for businesses in the local community. As Evolution Mining is aware of the impact on mental health throughout COVID, it has done its best to reduce the impact by providing services for the employees with the Occupational Health Nurse on Site and their families through the EFAP (Employee Family Assistance Program).
Giving Back to the Community
When it comes to giving back to the community, Evolution Mining gives preference to recruit locals at Red Lake and support the development of the town. It provides scholarships within the local community around education, environment, arts, culture and recreation, economic development, diversity, health, and COVID recovery. Along with scholarships, the company also provides partnerships with its First Nations Groups and is an ally for the Pride community.
Enlightening the Younger Ones
Kirsty mentions that if she could change anything in the mining industry, it would be to integrate current practices with technology to make her footprint in the community one with long-term sustainability. Currently, her focus is on transforming the Red Lake operation through practices and innovation to cement the place as a cornerstone asset for Evolution Mining. Her goal is to be an employer of choice in Canada, and for the people’s time with Evolution to highlight their careers.
In her advice to emerging women entrepreneurs in the mining industry, she says, “Take every opportunity offered, even if they are outside of your comfort zone, they are the ones that grow and stretch you the most.”