Larnie Mackay has won the Maptek Women in Resources Technological Innovation Award in the BHP 2020 Women in Resources National Awards.
Larnie Mackay has won the Maptek Women in Resources Technological Innovation Award in the BHP 2020 Women in Resources National Awards.

WINNER: CQ woman honoured through mining industry awards

CENTRAL Queensland women are making a mark on the mining industry, with another Moranbah woman taking out a national award.

Anglo American’s Underground Digital Transformation lead, Larnie Mackay, yesterday won the inaugural Maptek Technological Innovation Award at the BHP 2020 Women in Resources Awards.

The award recognised Ms Mackay’s achievements in technological innovation in the resources industry, through her role in leading the development of the first and so far only, electronic tablet device certified for unrestricted use in underground coal mining in Australia.

“Our underground tablets have changed the way we work underground and opened the door for further improvements in digitisation and data analytics to help improve safety and productivity in our operations,” Ms Mackay said.

“They’ve also helped enhance our safety systems by providing underground crews with immediate access to important safety information and enabling video calls to technical experts on the surface when required.

“It has been a culture and technology game changer at our underground mines, and the way it has been embraced by our teams – especially those underground – has been phenomenal.”

The tablets, which were rapidly deployed across Anglo American’s underground metallurgical coal operations in Queensland last year, have helped launch a new era of digitisation for the mining industry.

READ: CQ mine worker takes out national industry award

They capture and share real time safety, production and environmental monitoring information with operators, ensuring critical information is readily available to key personnel and removing the need for paper records.

“I’m proud to have been recognised for a project that has been a passion of mine for a long time, and that I know will have an impact on our industry into the future,” she said.

The development of an ‘intrinsically safe’ tablet was a considerable challenge, taking around five years and involving extensive work with mining engineers and manufacturing partners to ensure the product was fit-for-purpose and passed an extensive certification process.

Based in Moranbah, Ms Mackay has more than 25 years’ experience in the mining industry and encouraged young women and men to take advantage of the opportunities available in the sector.

“There is a wide range of future-focused opportunities available in the mining industry and I encourage anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in technology to consider what our industry can offer,” she said.

The awards, hosted by the Minerals Council of Australia in partnership with state-based industry associations, were created to promote the Australian resources sector as an industry of choice for women.