“This is my favorite job ever.”
Daphne Place-Hoskie, 47, supports management of BHP’s North American legacy assets (aka idle sites). She helps both the business and the host communities envision those sites as something of greater value, and then secure funds to execute the project. Habitat renewal. An industrial park.
“Land is eternal,” says Place-Hoskie. “Everything we have in our portfolio can have some value to the community.”
⅓ talking to communities outside the corporation
⅓ influencing internal corporate decisions
⅓ analysis, case studies, proposals
Role in the big picture:
“When closure and social transition is done right, it’s a huge win,” says Place-Hoskie, adding, “There’s a history of not doing it right.”
The lessons being learned about mine closure in North America have influence on other divisions within BHP, and businesses around the world. BHP is a founding member of ICCM, a global affiliation of industry operators that come together to learn from each other.
“We are lifting up our ability to rehabilitate the land,” Place-Hoskie concludes.
What Inspired you to pursue a career in mining?
Daphne has spent 26 years in the mining profession; the past three years in her current position at BHP.
She was inspired by a “women in engineering” program she attended the summer before her senior year of high school. She resonated with mining engineering because it combined many sciences. Although she would become a fourth generation coal miner, Daphne viewed the field with fresh eyes.
“I thought of it as something new and different, creative, exploratory,” she says. “Great world adventure.”
First mining job
In 1993, Daphne took an internship at an underground coal mine in southern Illinois. She worked as a manual laborer, shoveling, stopping (block walls that help direct the air), driving supplies into the underground, and picking up trash.
“That’s when I knew I could really do it,” she says, “I had proven myself to myself.”
Advice for women interested in a mining career today
No matter what you want to do, don’t let the fact that you’re the first, or that you look different from others, limit your belief in yourself.
Don’t be fearful. Be the disruptor. Be the unique experience.
Changes in the mining industry
“Technology will be used to mine, rehabilitate the land, and monitor success,” she emphasizes. “People will make the decisions.”
Skillsets and funding for reclamation have increased. There is more social and community awareness about post-industrial land use.
New concepts around sustainable communities and social transition have formulated over the past three to four years and will have a greater impact going forward.
“There are so many more women in the room.”
“Never accept a criticism of yourself that is based on something you do not control [ eg. gender, age, race ]. Accept only the opportunity to give that person a different experience.”—Daphne’s father.
A traveler, Patti Daley came to Globe in 2016 to face the heat, follow love, and find desert treasure. She writes in many formats and records travel scraps and other musings at daleywriting.com.