KCGM blasts support for International Women's Day at Australia’s largest open pit gold mine

 July 23, 2019

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For International Women's Day, companies like their events to go off with a bang - and none more so than Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM).

KCGM operates the Fimiston Open Pit - also known as the Super Pit - which is located in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, approximately 600km east of Perth, Western Australia. Measuring 3.5km long and 1.7km wide, the Super Pit is Australia’s largest open pit gold mine.

On International Women’s Day (IWD), KCGM organised a mine blast in the Super Pit coloured with bright pink powder. The explosives were outlined in the shape of the Venus symbol, which was visible from the public lookout.

KCGM invited the local community to view the iconic blast, with the detonation time being advertised on social media, local radio, newspaper and tourist hubs.

When the blast was detonated, it created a fantastic plume of pink.

Mining Australia International Women's Day

Celebrating women in the mining industry

KCGM employs around 700 people, with 30% of the workforce being women - compared to an industry average of 16%. Around 50% of KCGM’s truck operators are female.

KCGM General Manager Cecile Thaxter said the company is committed to inclusion and diversity.

“We fundamentally believe that our workforce should reflect the Kalgoorlie-Boulder community and that better decisions and ideas come from diversity of thought. Our gender outcomes are a direct result of a number of drivers that compliments the lives of our residential workforce. These include a complex operational environment with a focus on the growth of our people, an industry-leading parental leave policy, flexible work arrangements and employee-led initiatives that continue to make KCGM a great place to work”.

On IWD, KCGM wanted to highlight and celebrate the role women play in the mining industry, with the aim of fostering conversations around gender parity. With this in mind they set to task.

Involving the whole community in the IWD event

Over 250 people including residents, tourists, media and employees gathered in anticipation at the mine’s public viewing platform to watch the pink blast.  

The blast used 250kg of pink powder, 100kg of high explosive and took a team of 10 people around 4 hours to mark up. During the setup, team members’ well wishes of IWD were captured on videos and shared on social media channels, with the posts displaying the Balance for Better hashtag. 

Staff also took part in the #BalanceforBetter pose at their meetings throughout the day and at the Super Pit Lookout.

Activities led by Women in Minding Business Resource Group

KCGM's onsite Women in Mining Business Resource Group (BRG), a voluntary, employee-led group organised to create a voice for employees, organised a number of activities throughout the day.

The team managed site-wide BBQ’s for its employees to meet for lunch and discuss ways in which to help forge gender parity.

The mine site’s security gatehouse was covered with IWD balloons and banners in celebrations, and employees were given merchandise as they signed in for work.

Supporting a local women's charity

On IWD, BRG members collected monetary donations on site and at the public viewing of the blast for the Goldfields Women’s Refuge. The refuge provides short term crisis and refuge accommodation for women and their children experiencing or at risk of homelessness due to crisis.

Over $600 was raised to purchase food, clothing and personal hygiene items for refuge clients. 

Raising awareness of women's roles in a male-dominated industry is an important step towards gender equality, and KCGM certainly celebrated this in a big way for IWD.

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