Best Mining Story: Chirano’s first female mine rescue team member!

We are excited to welcome back our ‘Best Mining Story’ column on Kinross World! The column is an opportunity for employees to share their favourite memories, experiences and stories in mining.

Ellen Adu-Parkoh, an underground mine controller from Chirano, shares her Best Mining Story as we re-launch the column, describing how her experience in the mining industry has led her to become the first female mine rescue team member at Chirano.

“I began my career in the mining industry working in an administrative role for an underground mining service team in Africa after completing my master’s degree in business administration. I found  work in the field fascinating and wanted to shift my career to a ‘hands-on’ approach in this industry. I started a certificate course in the principles of mining engineering and later joined Kinross as an underground mine controller in 2014.

Working in the field helped me understand the hazards that can occur working in challenging conditions. I have always been passionate about health and safety and wanted to find a way to put this passion to the test.

I heard about the mine rescue brigade but knew it was a challenging team to join with no female members. The brigade consists of 40 members trained to respond in emergency rescue and/or recovery situations. The training ensures the best of the best are on the team, and involves rigorous testing, medical exams, course work and real-time simulations. I worked very hard to train for this team and was successfully named the first female mine rescue employee at Chirano in 2018!

I am very thankful to Kinross for giving me this opportunity to achieve my goals – my belief is when women are given equal opportunities, we can harness our full potential, and I knew I had the skills, and physical abilities to achieve this position. In joining this team, I work towards my career goal of becoming a shiftboss, another challenging role for females to attain but possible with the opportunities Kinross Chirano has given me.

I look forward to working with my team in the future and encouraging young female miners to join the mine rescue team, and branching out to bridge the gap between traditionally male and female occupations.”      

Do you have a Best Mining Story you want shared on Kinross World? Send your submissions to for a chance to be featured! Submissions can range from operational achievements, to exploration adventures, safety shares or inspirational moments. We look forward to your stories!

Ellen Adu-Parkoh, underground mine controller, Chirano
Ellen (front row, first from left), and her mine rescue team
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