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“Quite simply, MRM is a stronger and more competitive business because of our diverse workforce and the contribution each of our people make,” Says Mark Furlotte, General Manager of McArthur River Mine.

For Shannon Daly and Ayefa Sharmin, McArthur River Mine is more than just a workplace, it’s a community. 

The two Territorians are among many women who work at McArthur River Mine (MRM), which is passionate about creating an inclusive workplace where everyone’s contribution is valued and respected 

Located 700 km south-east of Darwin and 65 km from the township of Borroloola, Glencore’s MRM mines one of the world’s largest zinc deposits. MRM mines and processes zinc, lead and silver concentrates on site before exporting them from its Bing Bong Loading Facility in the Gulf of Carpentaria to customers right across the globe. 

MRM is steadfast in creating a culture where women are recognised and acknowledged for their significant and positive contribution both to its operations, and to the wider resource sector as a whole. 

Most importantly, MRM is centred on creating a workplace where women feel safe and valued. 

“Our people are our best asset and our team at MRM is as dynamic and diverse as the Territory itself,” says Mark. 

“Women are one of the cornerstones of our business and make a significant contribution to the safe and responsible operations of our mine. 

“Our business is strengthened by a diverse workplace – bringing different ideas, new approaches and unique values. 

Mark’s commitment to providing a safe and inclusive workplace is reflected in the female participation statistics of MRM’s workforce – Nearlyone in four of its people are female meaning 24 percent of MRM’s people are female, ahead of the industry average of 20 per cent. 

Of all those aged 18 to 35 at MRM, 29 per cent are female, indicating a cultural shift with increased 

opportunity for younger individuals to get into the mining industry through MRM’s employment pathway programs. 

Meanwhile, 21 per cent of over-35 employees are female, demonstrating MRM’s advocacy of female participation in the workplace and long-term career prospects for women in the resource sector. 

Committed to providing opportunities and development for women at MRM, Mark is proud that 50 per cent of the roles in his Senior Leadership Team are held by women. 

“We value each of our people at MRM irrespective of gender or background and the women at our site are an important part of ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace,” says Mark. 

“Our different backgrounds and shared ideas are key to our success.” 

Shannon Daly, an Aboriginal mother of three, is in her second year as a mining engineering cadet. 

She works two weeks on, two weeks off at the mine and continues to work, study and look after her children on her time off. 

“I joined MRM because I needed a change and it’s honestly the best place to work,” she said. 

“It has a great workplace culture which helps when you’re away for two weeks. 

“I’ve made life-long friends and gained diverse skills and knowledge. Management is supportive and it’s a really safe place to work.” 

Though traveling a different path, electrical engineering graduate Ayefa Sharmin shared Shannon’s sentiments about life at MRM. 

“I am a Muslim from Bangladesh, and my upbringing was quite different from what’s typical in Australia,” says Ayefa. 

“I never imagined working in the mining industry while growing up, but my perspective has completely changed since joining MRM in September 2022. 

“At MRM, diversity is celebrated, and everyone works together seamlessly towards common goals while respecting and valuing each other’s differences.” 


Ayefa says despite mining being a traditionally male-dominated industry and being the only female working in her team, she has received nothing but respect and support from her superintendent, supervisors and co-workers. 

“MRM is not just a workplace, it‘s a community where everyone’s contributions are valued and respected. 

“Since joining I have had ample opportunities to shape my career and develop my expertise. 

“MRM prioritises our people’s safety, including physical and mental well-being above all, and there is always someone around to help and guide you. 

“I am passionate about encouraging more women to explore careers in mining and showcasing their talent to drive the sector forward,” says Ayefa. 

Mirroring Ayefa’s passion for advocacy, MRM is committed to providing increased opportunities for women by championing the resource sector as an industry for everyone. 

In particular, MRM encourages other young women to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and maths, and offers a range of entry level pathways including cadetships, traineeships and apprenticeships, and a specialised graduate program. 

Key to the success of female participation in the workplace is a commitment to a recruitment process free of unconscious bias. 


Mark’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace was recognised recently where he was awarded the Diversity Champion Award at the 2024 Northern Territory Women in Resources Awards. 

The Women in Resources awards are held annually and celebrate the success of women, gender diversity champions and companies working to enhance diversity and inclusion across the Territory’s resource sector. 

The Gender Diversity Champion Award specifically recognises a demonstrated excellence in the encouragement, promotion and advocacy for the attraction, retention and promotion of women within their organisation. 

Downplaying the acknowledgment, Mark says that while providing a diverse and inclusive workplace is the right thing to do.“Quite simply, MRM is a stronger and more competitive business because of our diverse workforce and the contribution each of our people make.” 

To learn more about MRM or explore employment opportunities, visit