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Angela Watt

Manager, Underground Engineering

South32

2021 - Medal of Merit Under 40

Angela Watt holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Arizona.  While seeking her degree, Angela helped establish and lead the university’s Engineers Without Borders student organization.

Watt received a Rio Tinto Scholarship while attending university which lead her to start her career with Rio Tinto’s Resolution Copper Project in Arizona as a mining engineer.  She was responsible for the study team’s block caving design and mining schedule, and using lessons shared by operations groups, she created a blueprint for extraction level construction scheduling.  

Wanting to put her experience into action at a developing mine, Angela transferred to Western Australia to work at Argyle Diamonds with a data-focused approach to resolving underground construction bottlenecks.  Watt subsequently returned to Resolution Copper’s No. 9 Shaft Deepening Project.  With an eye for capitalizing on project schedule opportunities, she worked alongside shaft crew members and engineers to implement risk-mitigated designs and execution strategies for dewatering systems, deep-shaft ventilation and refrigeration changeovers, and a unique “bucket-in-a-bucket” mid-shaft loading arrangement.

In 2018, excited by the prospect of building a greenfield multi-generational underground mining project in her home county, she joined South32’s Hermosa Project in Southern Arizona as Chief Mining Engineer. In May 2020 she was promoted to Manager Underground Engineering and is now responsible for the team performing Hermosa’s mining study work and overseeing technical input to construction projects.

Watt grew up on a cattle ranch in Southern Arizona and developed an early passion for rock-collecting.  She graduated from Nogales High School, excelling in academics, competing in school sports and embracing leadership roles including being elected to serve as the Arizona State President for the Future Business Leaders of America organization. 

Guided by her enjoyment of math and science, she joined the University of Arizona’s Engineering College.  However, it was a visit to the university’s San Xavier Mining Laboratory, a student-run underground mine, where she found her calling to underground mining.

Watt attributes a lot of her success to her wide-ranging interests, continuous curiosity and love of learning.  She strives to influence the younger generation with her knowledge and experiences, as so many generous professionals within the mining community have done for her.  She is an active SME member and resides with her husband, Mathew, in Tucson, Arizona.


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