Powder flows down the pipe into bags. It is weighed and labelled in a process which continues without interruption, emitting a specific and uniform sound. This is the Bagging plant of Oyu Tolgoi's concentrator. The bagged powder is copper concentrate. Many steps are needed before the ore in the ground becomes concentrate. At the final stage, the concentrate is packaged and loaded on a truck. It is like putting the product in a basket before giving it to the consumer. About 20 people work on each shift in the Bagging plant. The young man leading the team is T.Ganzorig. While young, this team leader is a responsible man who fulfils his obligations to his team. The mine and the concentrator must work continuously for 24 hours a day. Therefore, he is responsible for ensuring there are no delays at his plant.
T.Ganzorig has been working in the Bagging plant since the day the Oyu Tolgoi concentrator produced its first concentrate. He has worked at every stage of operation - as a forklift operator, bagging operator, tagging officer and crane operator. The training of this young employee has paid off.
In 2010, in order to develop its workforce, Oyu Tolgoi recruited 100 trainees to enrol at the Erdenet Technology School as concentrator operators, heavy equipment operators and concentrator electricians. T.Ganzorig was one of them.
He read an advertisement about training for prospective employees and passed an entrance exam. At first the trainees studied theory and practice during a challenging, two-year programme. In addition to the theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom, they also spent time at Erdenet mine learning in practice. After graduation, he became a new employee at Oyu Tolgoi. He is a native of Bulgan aimag and grew up close to Erdenet mine. This gave him great knowledge about the mining industry and was one of the reasons he was attracted to the profession.
"Our bagging plant is fully automated. We package the concentrate from the warehouse in two-tonne bags and weigh and label them. We also put an extra thin plastic bag inside to keep the concentrate humid. Each truck is loaded with 18 bags, a total of 36 tonnes of concentrate," he explains. The plant is fully automated so every stage follows a finely detailed procedure. Bagged concentrate is automatically put on the weighing scales and, after the code fitted in the mouth of the bag is read, a command to move the bag is given automatically. T.Ganzorig is responsible for the smooth operation of the plant. In addition to monitoring all the equipment in his area, he must also deal with any problems if they arise.
The reason for this is simple - if there is a problem at any stage in the plant, the whole operation might stop. In addition, he has to ensure his own safety and the safety of his teammates. All Oyu Tolgoi employees are encouraged to become safety leaders within their own teams, taking personal responsibility for their own safety and that of their co-workers. Most of his team are men. They understand each other well and work in harmony, encouraging each other. He always talks about "ensuring safety and security." You can see why - safety is the priority at the mine.
The bagging plant has three lines with a capacity to package 100-130 bags of concentrate each hour. Of course, being a factory, there is a certain amount of noise. Therefore, personal protective equipment and ear protection must be always used. T.Ganzorig explains "Life at the mine is very different, so at first I thought it would be difficult to adapt. Now I have adapted completely, and I am developing into a better professional." Oyu Tolgoi is a comfortable place and a great place for young people to develop professionally and personally. They can learn from their foreign colleagues and practice their English skills.
His work day begins at 6.00am, talking about safety and identifying and controlling potential risks. His day ends at 6:00 pm as he transfers his work to another shift. After the shift, the entire team goes to the gym. He lives with his mother and sister in Erdenet, so he returns home for vacation at the end of his roster. Every time T.Ganzorig's leaves Erdenet, his mother tells him to work carefully and be careful."
Safety is a priority for every Oyu Tolgoi employee. Everybody works to create a safe workplace so that everyone returns safe and sound at the end of the shift.
Today, many thousands of young people work at Oyu Tolgoi, working together and developing together. Together they are writing the story of the company and their own personal stories. Oyu Tolgoi is the sum of everyone's personal stories. Here is one such story – the story of T.Ganzorig.
About Oyu Tolgoi LLC (www.ot.mn)
Oyu Tolgoi LLC, Mongolia's largest copper and gold mining company, is a strategic partnership between the Government of Mongolia, Turquoise Hill Resources and Rio Tinto. Located in the South Gobi, Oyu Tolgoi commenced shipment of product to customers in July 2013. Oyu Tolgoi is managed by Rio Tinto, which is investing global expertise and cutting-edge technology to help develop Mongolia’s mining industry and ensure Oyu Tolgoi is one of the world’s most advanced mines. For Oyu Tolgoi, nothing matters more than safety. The business operates under the principle that if a job cannot be done safely, it will not be done at all.