Tad Watroba describes himself as ‘the most fortunate mining engineer there is’. After more than 45 years in the business, his drive and passion are as fierce today as when he began his first job down a mine after graduating in 1973 from Krakow’s AGH University of Science and Technology, then known as the University of Mining and Metallurgy.
As Executive Director of Hancock Prospecting, he has overseen all the mining operations for Gina Rinehart, the company’s Executive Chair and Australia’s richest citizen, for over 20 years. “It’s been a very successful and fabulous journey that I’ve been lucky to participate in,” he tells The CEO Magazine.
“If I was to be born again, I’d wish for a very similar journey.” Tad worked in a couple of underground Polish mines before emigrating to Australia to work for Bechtel Asia–Pacific in Melbourne as a senior engineer.
Then, while consulting on gold mine finance in Perth in 1991, he answered a job advertisement for a project engineer at Hancock. Soon, he was looking after the company’s interests at the Woodie Woodie manganese mine and pursuing manganese and chromium exploration in Thailand.
“As a mining engineer, the opportunity to be involved from the initial exploration, through various studies, approval processes, permits, financing and eventually building new mines was an unbelievable opportunity, so I grabbed it with both hands.”
His rise through the company was swift, overseeing a succession of successful projects and becoming...
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