This article originally appeared in the Dubbo Photo News / Narromine Star on 24 March 2022. Written by Jen Cowley. Photos by Steve Cowley.
Photo (above): Sally Bourchier and Kym Mosey have both been with Tomingley Gold Operations from day one.
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Tomingley Gold Operations’ first gold bar was poured in February 2014, just a month after the commissioning of the project, which is owned and operated by Alkane Resources.
Since then, the mine has continued to produce between 50-80,000 ounces of the prized metal every year.
But while the product from the mine is indeed a precious commodity, it’s the people who help make it all happen that TGO considers its most valuable resource.
Many of the TGO team members have been with the operation since its inception, racking up eight years of dedicated service across a diverse range of facets of the operation.
Among them is Sally Bourchier, who is more local than most, having walked out her front gate and through the doors of TGO when it moved in next door.
Sally lives on a family farm adjoining the mine, but the short (1.5km) commute is just one of the things she enjoys about her job as the operation’s accounts payable and payroll officer.
Having started out with TGO as the administration supervisor eight years ago, Sally grew to know most aspects of the operation as she transitioned through that role to her current position and has never looked back.
“They’re a really supportive company to work for. It’s a relaxed atmosphere but everyone’s very professional, and there’s no bureaucratic nonsense or hoops to jump through.
“If something needs doing, it’s done,” Sally says.
As a farming neighbour and a mine employee, she’s in a unique position to see how the two enterprises can harmoniously exist and that’s made her eight years with TGO a comfortable fit.
“I love the job and the people. We’re always busy, we have a lot of local people and we try to employ from within the surrounding region – that helps to give a lot back to the community.
“After eight years in any other job, most people would be looking for new challenges but I’m happy here because every day brings something new.
“It’s just a great place to work.”
Like Sally, Kym Mosey has been with TGO since its inception, and has had a couple of titles during his eight-year tenure with the company, but it’s “mining superintendent” that’s currently on his business card.
Based in Broken Hill, Kym initially worked in a FIFO (Fly In–Fly Out) capacity at the establishment of the company when it was in its infancy as a subsidiary of Alkane Resources, but moved to Dubbo for five years during the peak of the open-cut project.
In 2018, as the open cut division was winding down, he moved back to the Silver City and resumed the FIFO arrangement that suits his busy work and family life balance to a tee.
Kym’s background is in agriculture – he’s a wool-classer by trade – and while that might seem like an unusual precursor to the mining industry, it was a fascination with “shot firing” that led him to the sector.
“I progressed into mining from the blasting industry, then went off and re-educated myself in mine engineering – I’ve been in mining now for 25 years.”
Tomingley isn’t the first mine Kym has worked with, having largely followed a trail of gold through his career in the industry, but it’s safe to say it’s his favourite.
“It’s so family-friendly. The life of a FIFO in the mining industry can be tough on families, particularly in remote areas, so that aspect was very attractive.
“I was also keen to be involved with the establishment of a mine, and to see it through to becoming a fully operational mine, which is what I’ve done with TGO,” Kym says.
He’d also eventually like to see the other end of the operation and be involved with seeing a mine through to the end of its life, and that may well be with TGO.
“But for now, we’re booming away and I’m still here.”
The harmonious culture of TGO is something of which Kym is justifiably proud, having been part of establishing that ethos along with the mine itself.
“We’re a brand-new company, so we were able to build that culture. We’re a transformational business, and we’ve created a level network culture, where everyone treats everyone else as an equal – that’s very rare in this industry.”
Unlike other mining operations, TGO doesn’t have a “hierarchical system that pigeon-holes people” according to Kym.
“We all get along like a big family – that’s very attractive. It makes working life very enjoyable and it’s one of the reasons I’m still there.”
To those who may be considering a career change – or start – Kym says mining is an industry that offers great diversity and can be hugely satisfying.
“My advice is to have a go. We’ve had a lot of people come here with no experience whatsoever – in fact, 50 per cent of my original workforce here were from non-mining backgrounds.
“We trained them, and we continue to train people from the ground up. From that, we get people who are dedicated to the systems we have in place.
“There’s always jobs in the mining industry – there’s plenty of work here, and plenty of opportunity,” Kym says.
“If you have a passion to succeed, get in touch with TGO and apply. You won’t regret it.”
Alkane Resources salutes and congratulates these people who have been with Tomingley Gold Operations since they started in 2014:
James Didovich, Kym Mosey, Sally Bourchier, Ken Bermingham, Brian Prendergast, Terence Nhan, Glenn Hyde, Christopher Black, Michael Bennett, Kenneth Everingham, Grant Everingham, Adam Gooda and Michael Handcock.
Would you like to join the TGO team? Positions exist for people who are the the right fit for the business, and there are a range of opportunities arising all the time in a number of different areas within this progressive company. All available positions at TGO are advertised on the Seek recruitment platform.