Marie Bourgoin: Manager at Rio Tinto’s Operations Centre

Published: 14/04/2014

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Marie Bourgoin grew up literally a world away from Australian mining in France.

With a father who worked for Air France she was a young woman who travelled the world extensively, but through all her travels she never made it to Australia.

Back in France Marie studied for an MBA, which included the opportunity to travel abroad. For Marie that meant the opportunity to go to one of the few places she still wanted to visit.

So as part of her MBA, Marie spent 6 happy months in Australia studying at Curtin University in Perth. The friends she made remained close to her after she returned home to Paris. In fact one of those friends would one day become her fiancée.

It was these friends who helped her find a job at a consultancy firm in Perth. And it was with this firm where she had her first experience with Australian mining, as a consultant to Rio Tinto.

Back in France her parents were a little shocked their worldly and sophisticated daughter was working in Australian mining. What they didn’t know was that Marie was discovering that Australian mining was a lot more interesting and sophisticated than any of them could have imagined.

Today Marie is Manager at Rio Tinto’s Operations Centre in Perth. Reminiscent of a scene from a sci-fi film, the walls of the centre are lined with screens, which monitor rail, port and mine movements up to 1,500 kilometres away. In the mining industry there is nothing that compares to it, anywhere in the world.

It’s Marie’s job to schedule and maintain the efficiency of all operations. Given the scale of most things in mining, the decisions Marie makes can mean millions of dollars saved in efficiencies.

It can be a high pressure job but she loves the technology, the challenge and being a part of the future of mining.