Best Mining Story: My journey to Generation Gold

Welcome back to our ‘Best Mining Story’ column, an opportunity for employees to share their favourite memories, experiences and stories in mining. This week, we meet Moctar Awoune, a Mine Engineer at Tasiast, and the 2020 Generation Gold participant from Tasiast! Moctar shares his career path into the mining industry and his journey into the Generation Gold program.

Education has always been important to me. As a student, I excelled in mathematics and science and was passionate about learning opportunities. Because of my grades, I was offered scholarships overseas and seriously considered leaving Mauritania to continue my education abroad.

Kinross and the mining field were well-known in my community, and when I heard of the Mauritanian School of Mines they were sponsoring, I knew this was an excellent opportunity for me to combine my strengths in math and science. I was interested in the mining industry and believed I could have a great success in this field.

I became the valedictorian in the Mineral Resources Management program and was offered an opportunity to study in Morocco. While I knew this was a great opportunity, I was informed Kinross was recruiting for positions at Tasiast and I wanted to gain hands-on experience in the industry. I was the first one hired  from the School of Mines and became a drill and blast engineer at Tasiast. I had a mentor along the way who advised me to put theory into practice by gaining experience in any and all field operations that I could.

After 18 months, management started recruiting engineers to join the load and haul department as supervisors. I knew this would be a great move at the right time for me to gain an operational leadership position and have exposure to a new side of the business – I joined the team in February 2018 as a field supervisor and am now responsible for overseeing hundreds of operators and their equipment with support of team leaders.  

As I’m eager for new learning opportunities and passionate about new challenges, I applied for the Generation Gold program. I received recommendations from my operations director, general manager, mines manager and human resources manager who believed I would be a strong candidate for the program.

I was very excited and proud to be accepted to the program where I will work as a mine planner at the Fort Knox mine in Alaska. The Generation Gold program will allow me to gain an understanding of Kinross’ global operations from a technical perspective working at two different mine sites for three years, and at Kinross’ corporate headquarters in Toronto.  Although I decided against an education abroad in order to obtain a degree in mining engineering in Mauritania, I now have the opportunity to work internationally with a Company that is passionate about the career development of its employees. I am very excited for this experience, and my future with Kinross Gold!”

Do you have a Best Mining Story you want shared on Kinross World? Send your submissions to KinrossWorld@Kinross.com 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!

Moctar Awoune, Mine Engineer, Tasiast
Moctar Awoune at Tasiast with the Mining team. From left to right: Haiba Melainine, Load and Haul Superintendent, Moctar, Mhamed Ould Cheikh, Mine Manager, and Cheikh Abdellahi Haiballa, Drill and Blast Superintendent.