After years of training and study, Meadowbank employee Gabriel Ulayok has reached the top of his field. He is now a Production Equipment Operator and is qualified to operate the RH120 shovel – one of the largest and most sophisticated pieces of equipment in the global mining industry.

But the excitement and recognition doesn’t stop there. Gabriel is also the first Inuit employee to reach the highest position within our Mine Career Path program – an innovative system designed by the Meadowbank People Development Team designed to support the upward career progression of our Inuit employees.

The program provides those who have limited formal skills or education with the opportunity to advance in their career by identifying the incremental steps they must take and then, through a combination of work experience, training and skills development, enables them to achieve their goals. Since its launch in 2012, the Mine Career Path program has seen an increasing number of successful participants each year and in fact we are now able to hire certain positions, such as haul truck drivers, exclusively from among the local Inuit population.

For Gabriel, who joined Agnico Eagle in 2012, the path to becoming an operator of the RH120 shovel took six years and more than 10,000 hours of training. In his current role he works as a Relief Production Equipment Operator and he is also an Auxiliary Equipment Operator at the mine.

Gabriel says he is proud to be the first Inuit employee to reach the highest position to operate this shovel. “When I joined Agnico Eagle as a Haul Truck Driver, my dream was to operate the shovel I now operate because they are massive machines that load the haul truck extremely quickly,” said Gabriel. “Now, my dream has come true.”

He adds, “I encourage all Inuit to enroll in training programs including this one.  But just remember, it takes time to climb up to become what you want to be, so be patient because it pays off in the end.”

Gabriel now has a new dream – to become an Auxiliary Equipment Supervisor at Agnico Eagle.

Interested in learning more about career opportunities at our Meadowbank mine?  Visit our Nunavut website.

What’s the Scoop?
Gabriel Ulayok is now qualified to operate one of the largest and most sophisticated pieces of equipment in the global mining industry – the RH120 shovel.  How big is the RH120?

  • It has an operating weight of 326 tons and is tall enough that the operator’s eye-level is at 21.3 feet above the ground
  • The bucket, or scoop, is large enough to hold two full-size pick-up trucks stacked on top of each other and has a total capacity of 21.6 cubic yards/34 tons
  • It only takes the RH120 four buckets to fill a large 150-tonne truck.