When it comes to something as intricate as a mining operation, so full of moving parts, people tend to overlook the obvious fact that the most important pieces of this puzzle are actually…well, people! In this edition of our ‘Meet Your Miners’ series, we introduce you to Marie Sandoval of Barrick Gold Corporation.
After receiving her Bachelor of Applied Science in Management with an emphasis on Technology, Sandoval began working as a temp through Carlin Trend. Working with Barrick’s surface mine rescue team and competition team for five years, she gained pertinent knowledge and training that led her to her current position as underground mine rescue coordinator at the Cortez Gold Mine in Lander County.
“I work in the Safety and Health division at the mine,” said Sandoval, who went on to describe her many duties, which include coordinating and facilitating training for new mine rescue team members and trained medical personnel such as fire, rope rescue, hazmat, confined space and wild land fire crews.
When it comes to her favorite part of the job, Sandoval was clear: It’s not about her.
“Working on a team with people who are dedicated to helping others. Watching people who do not know anything about being a medic or rescuer become some of the best medics and trainers I have ever met is extremely rewarding.
As far as her approach to work every day, Sandoval knows that her job is about the well-being of others, but it is up to her to lead by example.
“Because a lot of my job is training others to do their jobs, it’s important for me to set the tone. I do this by approaching my work with a good attitude…treat others like I would want to be treated.”
She’s also appreciative of the opportunities her career has afforded both her and her family.
“Working in the mining industry allowed me to finish my college education. It helped my children go to college. The industry provided summer work programs for my kids that helped them earn money for college. It has done so much to enhance my life and my family’s lives. I am very grateful.”
Sandoval noted that much of her free time is spent with her three (soon to be four!) grandchildren, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. As someone who understands and appreciates the importance of family, Sandoval feels fortunate to love what she does for a living.
“Cortez is a place where people truly hold their employees as their most precious commodity. They don’t preach safety, they live it as a culture; a belief, and that makes it one of the best places I have ever worked. I cannot express how blessed I feel to be here and to work among the most amazing people I have ever met.”