Women in Irish Mining

Modern Mining offers career opportunities for all

When Nicola Nixon left school in 1999 to pursue a career in mining, her choice wasn’t viewed as a normal route for a young woman to follow. At that time the industry was considered to be male dominated and not generally suitable for an 18-year old female. The Co. Meath woman was clear in her mind, however, and 21 years on she is now President of the Irish Mining and Quarrying Society – the representative body of the industry in Ireland.

Nicola had grown up beside Tara Mines in her hometown of Navan and had a fascination with the mine from a young age. “When I was younger I remember dad telling me, ‘the mine is under you now,’ or ‘there’s men below you now’ and I was fascinated by that it,” she recounted.

Having completed a degree in Mineral Engineering, Nicola began her career at Tara Mines where she has worked for the last 14 years designing the drilling and blasting within the mine.

Technology has revolutionised mining

Nicola is keen to encourage anyone, male or female, who is interested to take mining and quarrying seriously as a fulfilling and rewarding career: “I would encourage young people of both genders to look at the industry as a career option, it is not the old dirty industry that some still perceive it as. “The industry is changing rapidly, with new technology and with automated mining really excelling it’s an exciting industry to work in. While the basics stay the same, the methods are evolving.

“Technical roles in mining have seen an increase in female employment – these roles range from engineer, geologist, surveyor and planner to chemist – while environmental, administrative, accounting, HR and health and safety positions have always seen women well represented.”

When operational Dalradian will create 350 direct jobs across a wide range of roles. To find out more visit or find us on facebook at @dalradiancommunity, Instagram at @dalradiangold or LinkedIn at @dalradiangold.


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