My main motivation is to see the mine developing and growing, reaching new heights and implementing ambitious projects and to know that I am making a direct contribution
Ksenia Kazantseva came to Natalka in 2020. She has worked for Polyus for a total of eight years. She progressed quickly through the business, from her graduate role as a microbiologist in the Olimpiada lab at Polyus Krasnoyarsk she was quickly promoted to become a Deputy Director for Operations.
What do you do?
My job is both interesting and varied. I have to communicate with all corporate departments, from operations to services, in particular the design departments and the research center. My work is primarily focused on developing improvement plans and supervising testing on new reagents, equipment and materials. We are currently working with adjacent departments on a major project which aims to improve existing operations.
What were the milestones in your career?
When I was studying precious metals, people from mining companies in the Krasnoyarsk region came and gave presentations at my university. That was when I realized where I wanted to start my career after I graduated. I did an internship at Olimpiada, Polyus Krasnoyarsk, and became a microbiologist in the lab right after graduation. Three years into my role as an engineer at Polyus I was promoted to become Deputy Director for Operations. It was a quite interesting experience, good for developing my leadership and team management skills. I think anyone [in this industry] who is looking to gain new expertise and has the right qualifications will always be recognized and rewarded [at Polyus].
Working in Tesla
Apart from my experience in the mining industry, I also happened to work for Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in the USA in 2019. I was an operations assistant for a large factory covering over 500,000 square meters. It had cutting-edge automation production, robotized complexes and automated lines. But even this autonomous equipment requires human involvement. We often stepped in with technicians to restore equipment performance and fix software bugs so customers would get their new Teslas off the conveyor on time. This car brand is very popular in the sunny states, particularly in California. Almost all Tesla cars go from the conveyor straight to the customer. There is even a waiting list of several months for some models due to high demand.
Were any of your projects special to you?
You know every project, whether it’s a small redesign or large-scale construction, requires team work, and every team member contributes to the success. It is hard to distinguish any particular project. I am happy to be part of the team, to participate in the projects improving throughput and process efficiency both at Krasnoyarsk and at Natalka where I have been working. Currently Polyus’ strategy includes the introduction of advanced gold mining processes, and so working here means you always gain unique experience.
Three components of the project success
It is hard to define three specific factors as the execution of each project is a complex process. A number of elements have to be taken into account in order to maximize execution efficiency and success. I think that the main factors contributing to the success of the project are: a clear project goal and the commitment of project team members, the project team’s professional competences and expertise, efficient management and risk assessment and of course the availability of the required resources at the right time.
What is your biggest inspiration?
My main motivation is to see the mine developing and growing, reaching new heights and implementing ambitious projects and to know that I am making a direct contribution.
What professional qualities do you value in your colleagues?
Helpfulness, professional expertise and teamwork. You can develop a lot of valuable skills from observing colleagues working at Polyus. For example, how to keep calm and respond swiftly to the most stressful situations.
Upsides and downsides of working in operations
I think working in operations has no downsides. Of course, there are certain difficulties and constraints to working remotely in the Extreme North but on the mine site you are at the heart of all of the operations and have all of the information at your fingertips. The Magadan region is kind of a separate world with a harsh climate and unique nature, which is a draw for similarly unique people from across the country, and I am happy to be part of it.
Upsides of working at Polyus
The first thought which comes to my mind when our company is mentioned is stability. But for me it is first of all an opportunity for professional development within the industry, and our company provides every possibility for that.
What do you do in you free time?
I love traveling, especially going on trips and camping. You can do that very comfortably abroad. Since last year we have been in lockdown and it is unlikely that we will be able to go abroad and travel freely anytime soon. So we will have to discover tourist routes in our homeland!
What is the secret to your success?
There is no secret. The main thing is to work hard, to be committed to your job and constantly strive for improvement. And add just a bit of good luck to that.
It is all for the best!