Local Women Encouraged to Join Drilling Industry
The South Gobi Province Governor’s Office awarded Major Drilling Mongolia as a “Best Employer of Umnugovi aimag (South Gobi province) in 2020.” Award criteria includes successfully supporting local employment in the province through training, job creation and diversity initiatives. Major Drilling is a long-time contractor in Mongolia providing specialized drilling services at the Oyu Tolgoi copper project, located in the vast desert region of South Gobi. There, Major Drilling conscientiously provides skills for employees who are trained to build their local communities.
Major Drilling Mongolia ranks rose from six local workers in 2019 to 47 in 2020. South Gobi residents make up 24% of the total Major Drilling workforce at the Oyu Tolgoi project. Graduates of drilling operator training at the Dalanzadgad Polytechnical College in that region were offered jobs with Major Drilling. This includes women who are especially encouraged to join the drilling industry.
Ulzii Chuluun, Major Drilling HR & HSEC Supervisor in Mongolia, is proud of the women who have joined the Major Drilling team. “Not long ago, there was a time when there were no female drillers or drill assistants in Mongolia, but Major Drilling chose to change that,” he said.
While the mining industry is making strides toward equality, it continues to be a male-dominated field throughout every region of the world. Regardless, more and more skilled and determined women enter this tough industry and continue to prove themselves.
Amgalansuren is a new drill assistant who recently trained in the Major Drilling program. She has been interested in the drilling industry since she attended a drilling technology class at the University of Science and Technology in Mongolia. As a sophomore, she received a 100% tuition scholarship from Major Drilling through her fourth year of studies and now enjoys her position as a drill assistant.
“This has truly given me a golden opportunity to learn from the best drilling company in the country and in the world and strong desire to learn and pursue my career in the drilling industry,” she said.
In 2020, Major Drilling also welcomed another female drill assistant to the field, Togtokhmaa. She said, “It has been a privilege to be a part of such a friendly and accepting team that always looks after one another and to be able to work as a female drill assistant in this industry.”
Both Togtokhmaa and her colleague, Amgalansuren, have completed training and are at work at the Oyu Tolgoi site.
Chuluun is excited at the progress this represents for the region and the industry. “We are confident the number of women in our workforce will continue to grow,” he said. “It is only a matter of time when we will be working alongside our area’s first female drillers and supervisors!”
The Oyu Tolgoi mine is jointly owned by the Government of Mongolia and Turquoise Hill Resources, a majority owned Rio Tinto mineral exploration and development company. Major Drilling first established drilling campaigns in the Gobi Desert in early 2000 and received recognition as the 2019 Best Drilling Company from the Mongolia Drilling Association. In 2020, Major Drilling drilled a record 2,000-meter PQ hole at Oyu Tolgoi.