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Surigao del Norte miner to train women for heavy-equipment operation

In Photo: Lady driver Jennifer Inting in action

HINATUAN ISLAND—After successfully training and employing female drivers, including operating dump trucks, the HinatuanMining Corp. (HMC) will soon start training women for the operation of heavy equipment, like pay loaders, backhoe or excavators, or even cranes.

A subsidiary of publicly listed Nickel Asia Corp., HMC is operating the Tagana-an Nickel Project in on Hinatuan Island, which is within the jurisdiction of Barangay Talavera, the town of Tagana-an in Surigao del Norte Province.

Currently, there are 18 women  dump-truck drivers who are part of the estimated 300 workers at the mine’s production department.

Dump-truck drivers are currently hauling nickel ores to the barge of the HMC to complete its target shipment for the year.  From the production area to the beaching area where the barges are docked.

“The terrain is tricky.  You need skillful drivers to maneuver huge dump trucks,” Arañes said.

The barge loads the ores to a huge vessel anchored off the waters of Tagana-an for transport to China.

“At one time, we had 24 women-drivers in Hinatuan,” HMC President Mine Manager Francisco Arañes Jr. said.

“Hiring women mine workers, regardless of their age, demonstrate the company’s commitment to promoting gender equality,” Arañes added.

Women, he said, are exceptionally skilled drivers.  Like their male counterparts, lady drivers of the mine undergo intensive training by the company as and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Of the company’s total manpower of 1,297, 1,018 are males and 279 are females.

Women are assigned to the Production Department and work as drivers, clerks; and the Assay & Camp Administration Section as utilities and other offices as clerks and supervisors.

Aside from working as truck drivers, women mine workers are effective in policing workers, thus are hired as safety officers by the company.

Other women mine workers are part of the care-and-maintenance pool, whose jobs include the production of tree seedlings and planting and nurturing the trees in mined-out areas being rehabilitated by the company.

 

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