Blog Post

June 9, 2022

Meet Alexandra Murray – Mining Solutions Expert

To kick off, could you tell us a bit about your career background and current role?

I started my studies at the Colorado School of Mines. Our professor brought us on a field trip to an underground mine. The mine was over a hundred years old, it shaped the lives of the local community, and it is on that occasion that I fell in love with the industry and mining.

My first work experience was while studying at an underground coal mine in New Mexico, and then at an underground gold mine in Nevada. Additionally, I have been involved in many activities within the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and the Exploration student chapter at SME. After graduation, I joined Sibanye-Stillwater as a Production Engineer and later as a Project Engineer. I am still involved in the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, Exploration and Women in Mining, where we are helping students, young professionals and women in developing their careers in the field. 

At CyanoGuard, I am working as a Business Developer. I am creating long-lasting relationships with our new and existing clients, and I am making sure to attentively listen to how we can best help them with our solution. It is amazing to work with such an international team and I do enjoy my new role here.

What excites you most about CyanoGuard's technology?

The opportunity to utilize technology in order to increase gold extraction and decrease cyanide and detox reagents costs.

Our professor at the university was always saying: “We are not mining for fun but to make money”.

And for me knowing that we bring to our clients a solution that can increase profits and decrease their costs, that’s really exciting. Additionally, the environmental implications are huge. Cyanide has a bad connotation, and our solution can optimize its usage.

Another thing that excites me regarding our solution is that we finally bring new technology to the mining industry. The silver nitrate titration method has been used for a long time. This is one of the first big changes in the mining industry and the fact that our solution can help modernize the industry is very exciting for me and I wanted to be part of it.

Why do you enjoy selling CyanoGuard’s technology to customers?

I enjoy it because it is an innovation. I enjoy introducing our technology to the mining community and teaching them about our solution. When I teach our clients about our solution, they often share excitement about our technology. That is the most rewarding thing you can see when introducing the client to a new technology.

Moreover, the mining industry is a place where people change jobs quite often. I am sure if a specific mine is not yet ready to implement our solution at this time, the people we train will remember our solution and be open to proposing it to another mine. Our technology is a huge step forward in modernizing the mining industry.

What motivates you?

At first, sales was not something I thought I would dedicate myself to. Growing up I realized my mother was a big inspiration to me. She is a successful Sales Manager, and she inspired my transition into sales.

When I started to work with CyanoGuard, I got many questions about why you changed your role so drastically, but I knew that this is the right step for me. I am convinced I am the right advocate for the mining industry and CyanoGuards’ technology. I also love learning and pushing my boundaries.  

It's no secret that there aren't many women in engineering; how can we get more women in engineering and especially mining?

When I was a student there weren’t many opportunities to learn about engineering positions and what it means to be an engineer. I might say I got lucky to get an opportunity to learn and get involved in the mining industry.

Currently, I am involved in the Society of Women Engineers and there I had the opportunity to influence young women. We have rotating camps where women can experience and learn about the different engineering roles and experience what it is like to work as an engineer in a specific field.

Therefore, I would say the first step is the introduction to the field and the second is to create an inclusive environment. It is great to have a mentor, but sometimes you also need an advocate.

What do you like about working with CyanoGuard?

The team!

Everyone is so kind, extremely helpful and always willing to help. This made my transition very smooth, and I am happy to be part of this team.

What’s your go-to productivity trick?

To-do lists.

I use one note page and every day I write down all my tasks, measurements and reflect on my day. This makes me focus on my daily tasks as well as my week. We also use Basecamp, which is a task-based project management tool. Additionally, it is so satisfying to check off your task and know how much progress you have done, and you have a record of everything which makes it much more organized.

What quote do you like to live by?

I have two quotes that I live by.

This one is more in a business context:

“Fail early, fail often.”

This might sound like a bad mantra, but I choose this one because I expect my co-workers or my superiors to tell me immediately if something is wrong or not as expected. If someone corrects you early on you can immediately act on it. However, if someone doesn’t correct you and later says it is not what they have expected, it is much harder to correct it.

The second one is my personal quote:

“Float like a duck.” 🦆

I know it sounds weird, but I mean it in a way “be like a duck”, calm on the surface, but peddle and work hard underneath. I like to guide myself with this quote. I am very calm when facing clients or any other challenge, but underneath I am working hard to accomplish everything I have set.

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