Mining engineer Mirjana Boskovic from Serbia first became acquainted with the Kiruna mine as an exchange student in 1990. It was love at first sight and the start of a long-lasting relationship.
"I fell head over heels for LKAB and underground mining," says Mirjana Boskovic, seismology specialist at LKAB in Kiruna.
How did you end up at LKAB?
I first became acquainted with LKAB in 1990, when I came as an exchange student for six weeks from my university in Belgrade. I had read about underground mining in Sweden and the world's largest underground iron ore mine. It was very exciting and a dream came true when I was given the opportunity, through an exchange-student programme, to visit LKAB in Kiruna, which was my first choice. However, I didn't start working at LKAB until 2003, at LKAB Kimit and with blasting technology in the research and development department. Two years later I began working with seismology in the mine and have been doing so ever since.
What does your work as a seismology specialist involve?
I do seismic analyses with emphasis on the affects of seismicity on production and vice versa. Unlike in a lab setting, where repetition and repeatability are the norm, we can never assume that the production situation is constant, since each blast always brings new set of conditions that we must address. Therefore, we need to apply all of the experience and knowledge we have in order to provide reliable forecasts.
What is the best thing about your job?
Every analysis is unique, and that's what makes my job so exciting. It's never monotonous. Mine seismology is advancing throughout the world, since many mining companies are mining at ever greater depth and must deal with seismicity-induced problems. In my work it is often the case that “the more you know, the more you realize you don't know.” That is part of the fun of it. I also have the world's best team.
Which issues interest you most?
Safety. That is the most important issue. All of our group's primary focus is on rock safety and risk management.
If you weren't a mining engineer, what would you have worked with?
Mining engineering wasn't my first choice when I was planning to study; instead, I wanted to be an atomic physicist. I chose to study surface mining, just to go against the stream. But after my first visit to LKAB, I decided to study underground mining concurrently. That resulted in two degrees.
How have things been after the seismic event in Kiruna of May 18th?
It has been hectic, but we have achieved a lot since May 18th. We have worked hard to understand the problems and the underlying factors, so as to be able to adapt production and minimize the risks. A lot of long working days have reminded us that we are merely guests underground.
What do you like to do most when you're not at work?
I really like travelling, and spending time at our cottage, where we often go fishing. I also like to work out.
Name: Mirjana Boskovic
Lives in: Kiruna
Family: Partner Ingemar, three bonus kids and bonus grandchildren. Mother and brother in Serbia
With LKAB since: 2003
Education: Mining Engineering, surface and underground mining, from the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Mining and Geology.
Hidden talent: I'm good at embroidery and cooking.
What will you be doing in ten years? Ten years ago I thought I would live in Serbia, but I am still in Kiruna, so I will give the same answer.