Susana Gonzales

Susana Gonzales

Job title (at time of interview)Senior Mining Analyst at Albemarle

LocationUnited States

What do you think has been your most important personal attribute and how has it influenced your professional success?

“Perseverance and curiosity. I like to pursue and strive to achieve my goals, and I believe that being curious and wanting to engage in learning opportunities, even if those are out of my scope of work or comfort zone is something that has opened doors for me.”


What message or advice would you give to young Susana, who has not yet started her professional life?

“Not everything in life is always going to go as planned, so stay flexible and open to new and growth opportunities. Know your limits but don’t be afraid of taking risks.”

Susana is a mining engineer with 10 years of experience. She has worked in open pits and underground mines in Peru and Chile and has developed an important part of her career as a mining consultant working for Wood (formerly Amec Foster Wheeler) in South America, Canada, and USA.

Susana joined Albemarle in December 2022 as a senior mining analyst for the Lithium Resource Development team. As part of her role, Susana is responsible for identifying and targeting high quality lithium assets and acting as a subject matter expert providing technical advice during merger and acquisition processes. Additionally, she supports the optimization and implementation of sustainable initiatives for Albemarle’s current mining projects.


May 2024

By Claudia Fernández P.

  • Please tell us what attracted you to study Mining Engineering and join the Mining Industry.

    Since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to study a field related to numbers and to be able to contribute to society, but I also loved the idea of working on something that takes me travelling to new places. My uncle is a Mining Engineer, and while growing up I witnessed the development of his career. He became an inspiration for me.


    Once in university, it was easy to fall in love with mining; I quickly realized how essential mining is for my country (Peru) and humanity in general. I definitely wanted to be part of it. However, I stayed because of the challenge that represented making my own path and continue to learn and growth in a career that I am passionate about and that was not very popular for women.


    I feel fortunate to have had great mentors along my way. I have gotten the opportunity to work in environments where my voice has been heard and I feel supported to keep growing in my career.

  • You have had a highly successful career in the last 10 years. Please describe your career progression and how you got to Lithium Resources Development at Albemarle Corporation.

    I hold a bachelor’s degree in Mine Engineering from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. I started my career in South America, did an internship in one of the biggest open pit mines in the world, in Chile, and worked in an open pit/underground mine in the Andes, in Peru. After that I joined the consulting business, starting with a Peruvian based consulting firm, and joining later a multinational consulting firm, Wood (formerly Amec Foster Wheeler). Working for Wood opened several doors, allowing me to work in multiple precious and base metal projects around the world developing several types of mining studies, and to relocate from Lima (Peru) to Vancouver (Canada) and from Canada to the US with the firm. While in Canada, I obtained my Professional Engineer license in British Columbia (EGBC), which allowed me to take higher responsibilities within the company and within projects. I worked with very bright people within the firm, from which I learned a lot.


    After several years in consulting, I decided I was ready to join a mining company. During my search process, I learned about Albemarle and the outstanding company that it is. I identified myself with Albemarle’s core values and was very interested in learning the nuance of lithium. I joined the Lithium Resource Development team in December 2022. I am very happy working at Albemarle and really appreciate the opportunity to join such an amazing team.

  • What are you passionate about in your work and find most rewarding?

    I have always been interested in the uncertainty that the mining business has embedded. Uncertainty will increase as a mining project progresses to operation, but, at least for now, you will not have complete certainty of the orebody shape and quality until you get access to it and mine it. As a mining engineer, you have the responsibility to ensure that those uncertainties are mitigated with enough modifying factors that allow for variations, while still ensuring economical and operational viability of the project; and during operation, to put enough controls to ensure maximizing safety, productivity, and profitability for the business.


    I am passionate about discovering and evaluating mining projects, studying and developing them to bring them to production in the most safe, sustainable and responsible way.

  • What has been your greatest challenge experienced during your career in the mining industry?

    There might have been situations in my career where I may have been judged, treated differently, or doubted because I am a woman, and sometimes, the youngest in a room. Thankfully, I have always had the good fortune of a great support system at work who believe in me and value my ideas, which has allowed me to contribute to several amazing projects.  I have found that believing in yourself and working hard to deliver your best effort is what will drive you to success.

  • What aspects do you highlight in favour of the mining industry in the United States and the progress made in recent years in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?

    I am new to the United States, but speaking broadly, I feel that the mining industry has improved significantly in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion during the last years. I have seen more women in mining and women taking higher and important roles in mining in the past years. I know very inspiring women that have been fighting against gender inequality for a long time and I just feel admiration for how much they have achieved. I feel proud that Albemarle is very diverse and inclusive, and there are several impressive women in high positions.

  • Have you benefitted from role models or mentors who went before you, or from other support structures in the workplace?

    Definitely. I have had key mentors throughout my career. While at Wood, I began working with teams from Canada and the United States since I was based in Peru, and I found a great mentor within that team, who not only taught me a lot, but also recognized my efforts and encouraged me to pursue intracompany relocation opportunities to Canada. While working in Canada, I found another great group of mentors, experienced and knowledgeable engineers with whom I had the privilege of working hand in hand for several years and absorbing incredible amounts of technical knowledge. Now at Albemarle we have an incredible team, full of very bright people, and I already have role models and mentors who are guiding me towards growth not only on the technical side, but also on the business and people side.

    I feel very grateful for the support that I have received, and that is something that allows me and encourages me to keep growing along my professional journey.

  • Do you have any advice to young women starting out in their studies or careers in this field? What was most challenging for you when you started working?

    Be present and stay curious. Been present allows you to connect with people, deliver better results, and learn more from your surroundings. Curiosity should always be part of your career; don’t be afraid of asking questions or getting involved in tasks outside of your comfort zone; you never know where life will take you, and curiosity could open several doors.

  • Do you believe that the presence of women in significant management, operational, business, and support roles influences the ultimate success of a company? Does a more diverse operating team lead to better or different decisions or performance?

    I believe in equality, where women and men have the same opportunity for getting into job position based on qualifications. I believe that the leading role shouldn’t be based on gender, for me the perfect leader is the one that puts people first, and that is committed to guiding her or his team/organization to success.

    For sure, diversity is key for the success of a team and a company. A diverse team will not only bring different types of capabilities, but also new ideas; that is why I believe allowing everybody’s voice to be heard is key to making better decisions as a business and to creating more productive and engaging teams.

  • What do you like to do outside work? What are you passionate about?

    I love hiking and enjoy spending time outdoors with my husband during my free time.

    I am passionate about yoga; I have been practicing vinyasa yoga for the past eight years and it is something that is part of my life. It brings calm to my busy mind and makes me feel wholesome.