Merian Gold Project employee Gloria Asabia was born in Langatabbetje and currently lives in Paramaribo, Suriname. She started her career at Surgold last March, where she was working as a cleaner in the Camps Services department.
Before joining the company, Gloria was a beautician, but needed more financial security, so she made the switch to mining.
Although she enjoyed her role in the Camp Services department, she was always fascinated by the big trucks she saw driving around the site. She imagined what it would be like if she could ever get a chance to operate one of these large vehicles.
“Finally I picked up my courage and I found out to whom I had to go and express my interest in learning how to drive a haul truck. From the beginning I have been very serious with this, because it just seemed very nice to me. Eventually my manager made sure that I could attend a training course for drivers. And then it all went very quickly,” Gloria said.
Harvey Apai, one of the trainers at Merian’s Mine Operations Department, trained Gloria in all aspects of safely operating a haul truck. Since Gloria had not worked in mining before, she got a full education on the appropriate processes and procedures. ”She got a theoretical and practical training on safety, handling and all other relevant issues. Gloria was a good student, she picked up things quickly,” Apai said.
Gloria feels the work she is doing at Merian is exciting and interesting, just as she had envisioned. ”It’s really wonderful to work in the mine. In that big truck everything below you looks very small, what makes me feel powerful. Even though I’m alone in the truck, through the radio we have a lot of contact among ourselves, so that’s nice.’’
Although Gloria enjoyed this new driving role, her foreman believed that she was capable of growing even more in her career. She has recently been asked to work in the mine’s control room, learning an additional skill set for her budding career in mining. ”I’m happy with that; it’s another step in my career.’’ She added that although this change is a great honor, she does hope she can still drive the truck every once in a while, as she thinks she might miss it.
This new career path has not only been a blessing for Gloria, but also for her family, who are very pleased with her new career. ‘’My mother and daughter are proud.”