Best Mining Story: How K’nana’s passion for mining leads to his success

Welcome back to our ‘Best Mining Story’ column! This week, we feature K’nana Alioune, a shovel operator from Tasiast whose commitment to health and safety, and passion for delivering results have made him a top operator at the mine.

“Kinross Tasiast became home for me in 2011 when I joined the Company as a truck operator. I had previously worked with two other mining companies in the region, however was looking for my next challenge and the opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience as an operator.

Upon joining the Kinross family, I quickly learned that the opportunities within this Company were endless if I worked hard and efficiently. My goal was to be a top performer as a way to reach new levels. I pursued training opportunities and worked closely with colleagues in various roles to gain a better understanding of the diverse areas of the Company.

 In 2018, my hard work payed off and I was promoted to shovel operator where I achieved a record performance of 3,280 tonnes per shift/work day in 2019. I was very pleased to see this milestone be recognized and eventually earned ‘employee of the month’ in December 2019.

My mentors have been key to my success, including shovel trainers Alassane Sow and Harouna Labo Sow, and Load and Haul Supervisor Hamoud Mohamedou. Their guidance boosted my motivation and passion, which has made me excited to come to work every day and be the best operator I can be.

I hope to continue to grow in my role and one day be able to share the guidance and experience I have with younger operators, acting as a mentor for them. I believe that is one of the greatest parts about Kinross – the people who work together as a family and want to see their colleagues be successful in their careers.”

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!

Dave Hendriks, Vice-President and General Manager, Tasiast, (second from right) congratulates K’nana Alioune (third from right), on his employee of the month achievement alongside his team members.
K’nana Alioune with a shovel that he operates at site