Gold Winner: Michal Kowalczyk – Toronto

Michal Kowalczyk,
Manager, Business Optimization, Toronto

A key member of the Toronto Operations team, Michal provides an innovative approach to his work, mixing technical engineering abilities with creative problem solving skills.

He has worked at Kinross since 2014, and has outperformed since joining the team in a fast paced environment.

“When working under pressure, Michal always remains calm and level-headed, and always produces results,” said Jeremy Brans, Vice-President, Operations Strategy, Toronto. “He is resourceful and passionate, and challenges his team to generate new ideas and better solutions for every project.”

Michal was an important part of the Bald Mountain integration team that worked tirelessly to achieve a smooth transition. He led the operational aspects and people management of the successful integration. He also helped create an ‘Integration Playbook’ for sharing best practices among different departments.

Michal helped to keep every department organized and mapped out detailed and intricate plans during the process. He led daily integration update calls and spent weeks at Bald Mountain to ensure that every aspect of the transition process was organized.

He has since been involved with three big projects at Bald Mountain: he was a part of the new heap leach pad planning, conducted a study on how to best process the site’s loaded carbon and helped prepare materials for the analyst and investor tour in March.

“Whenever we need analysis done for a corporate presentation, I call Michal. He always comes through with a high quality product on time. When I have had Michal lead presentations, he has always shined!” said Randy Burggraff, Vice-President and General Manager, Bald Mountain, who was one of Michal’s nominators.

Part of Michal’s job is to challenge existing procedures while looking for ways to innovate. While working on the pre-feasibility study for the potential re-start of La Coipa, he challenged the status quo and questioned the process of automatically purchasing a fleet for self-perform mining. To optimize costs, Michal also weighed the costs of all expenses from royalties and taxes versus contracting mining out to a third party. His analysis and strong business argument led to the decision to contract mining out to a third party.

Also on this project, Michal took the extra time to go through every contract clause-by-clause. His research provided the team with a better understanding of the risks and constraints in the project strategy which led to an updated and more efficient financial model with better returns.

Michal (second from left) with the Bald Mountain Engineering Team: Tracy McCrum-Jensen, Lloyd Wherry and Richard Curnow

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