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When Bianca Rogers joined the first intake of the Underground Mining School of Excellence at Olympic Dam in December 2018, she never thought she would be leading the way in explosives training.

The mother of two is the first graduate to gain a full blaster’s license.

“Mining has traditionally been a male-dominated industry but from day one I felt welcomed and included.”

“The training was intensive, and the focus on safety was always prioritised,” she said.

Bianca has been thriving on the opportunity to build her skills across various roles.

“You start off as a nipper, an offsider to the jumbo operator, making sure that their role is a lot more streamlined.’’

“Now, I am doing charging, setting explosives to dislodge ore underground, and I feel like I am making a solid contribution.”

The former elite cyclist and small business owner had no previous experience before joining the mining school, and has become a role model for women in the industry.

“I joined the mining school because I was looking for a new challenge. I want my two girls and other women looking for a career change to know they can do anything if they set their minds to it.”

“My girls think it is really cool to have a mum working underground, and BHP has been extremely supportive of my work-life balance,” she said.

Olympic Dam Shift Supervisor, Ben Denholm said, “Bianca has the mind-set to go all the way in the mining industry. She is a great asset to the crew.”

The Underground Mining School of Excellence at Olympic Dam is an innovative training program creating new job opportunities for people without experience in mining.

Through a tailored five-week program of theory and practical training, new starters are given the skills, language, and confidence needed to make a safe and productive start to a mining career.

Over the past 18 months, 200 people from baristas to school teachers to barbers have been through the school, with positive results. 

BHP has an aspirational goal to achieve gender balance by 2025. Since 2016, female representation has increased by almost nine per cent.

To learn more about inclusion and diversity at BHP visit: https://lnkd.in/g5rN8ah

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