Gold winner: Francisco Villalobos, Mine Superintendent, La Coipa

Francisco Villalobos, Mine Superintendent, La Coipa

Francisco joined Kinross in 2008 as a mine shift supervisor at La Coipa and was quickly recognized for his outstanding leadership qualities. In 2013, he was promoted to the drill and blast team at Maricunga. In 2019, Francisco returned to La Coipa as the Mine Superintendent, and was one of the first members of the Phase 7 team.

Over his career at Kinross, Francisco has been instrumental in achieving numerous milestones for the Company. In 2014, his team reached a production record and in 2015, he played a significant role in repairing roads in the Atacama region that were destroyed by flooding.

Francisco’s most recent success came this year when he coordinated the first milestone of the Phase 7 project: the successful transport of our mine fleet from Maricunga to La Coipa along a 160km road in the Andes mountains. The transport of fleet included over 30 trucks, loaders and various other equipment and was completed on schedule, on budget and without incidents while following COVID-19 protocols and procedures.

Once the transport of fleet was complete, Francisco and his team focused their attention on optimizing the Phase 7 pit design. The team was able to increase estimated production while decreasing mine cost, which is expected to save the Company approximately US$30 million over the life-of-mine. His team also optimized the cycle time for moving ore to the plant by 3%. This reduction in mineral transfer time is expected to save US$250,000 over the life of the project.

“Francisco is a high performer and constantly searches for ways to improve processes while focusing on safety and teamwork,” said Guillermo Olivares, General Manager, La Coipa. “His success follows him with each new operation he works on. He is both intelligent and generous, which makes him an excellent representative of Kinross’ core values.”

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