Insights from Rozalia Lontou: a Project Controls Engineer for Hellas Gold

by BIM Academy | March 8, 2022 |  5 min read

The second of Melanie’s interviews this week is with Rozalio Lontou, Project Controls Engineer for Hella Gold
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To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, BIM Academy’s Dr Melanie Robinson met with some of our clients, supporters and partners who are pioneering women in their field, to showcase their incredible talent, genius and leadership.

The second of Melanie’s interviews this week is with Rozalia Lontou, Project Controls Engineer for Hellas Gold. Hellas Gold is a mining company owned by Eldorado Gold and operates three mining assets in Halkidiki, Northern Greece – an area of vast mineral wealth that carries a 25-century old mining history.

Rozalia has over 20 years’ experience in project management, contracts execution and all aspects of project controls. She has been key to the successful delivery of projects at Hellas Gold through the introduction of digital methodologies and is member of an Information Management (IM) team established to investigate the benefits of implementing BIM policies and procedures for the company’s assets. The team, in collaboration with BIM Academy, are reviewing a roadmap of developing an IM Framework with an accompanying suite of documents that outline the IM processes and protocols for one of its mines.

Tell us about your role and what you do?

I am currently the Project Controls Engineer at the Skouries Mine Project located in the Northern part of Greece. The Skouries project is part of the Kassandra Mines complex which operates under the strictest EU safety and environmental standards and regulations. The Kassandra Mines consist of the Olympias and Mavres Petres mines, and the Skouries project. Since 2012, Hellas Gold operates as a subsidiary of the Canadian-based Eldorado Gold Corporation, which has over 25 years of experience in exploration, construction and operation of mines around the world.

The Project Controls role is a key position in the project’s lifecycle, from its initiating stage till closure. It contributes to the development of performance baselines (scope, time and cost) for the effective controlling, monitoring and reporting during execution. The role also includes activities such as analysing and tracking risks, performing quality control tasks, assessing possible outcomes across the project using data analysis techniques and reviewing changes and corrective actions.

What attracted you to your industry?

Even though my 20+ years of experience in project management and project controls was developed within the infrastructure industry, the mining industry for which I have now been working in for the past seven years, has gained my interest and keeps fascinating me due to its multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural environment. I had the opportunity to work with diverse and inclusive teams which have proved to be highly creative and innovative.

What exciting projects are you working on right now?

The Skouries Project is a gold-copper porphyry deposit planned to be mined using a combination of conventional open pit and underground mining while using the best available technologies in its design and operation. The project team is currently working on the Execution Readiness Phase. The intriguing part of this phase is that the team is planning the tasks, resources, timelines and costs in order to effectively initiate the project and execute it in a way that ensures its successful completion.

What steps have you/your company taken in recent years to support climate change action?

Eldorado Gold, our mother company, recently published its inaugural Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report and has set a target to mitigate GHG emissions. This underlines our organisation’s commitment to Responsible Mining and is only a part of our ongoing and systematic plan to address the climate-related risks and mitigate environmental impacts.

In Greece, Hellas Gold had deployed an extensive set of environmental practices that aim to constantly minimise our environmental footprint. These include one of the most comprehensive environmental monitoring programs in Europe that monitors and records the condition of the environment through 400 monitoring points and is accessible to all through a dedicated online platform. At the same time, we are rehabilitating old tailings areas from previous uses among which we have cleaned an area of more than 300m2 by removing more than 3m. tonnes of tailings.

Our commitment to protecting the environment that hosts us is also reflected through the adoption of best available techniques in our operations, such as the dry-stack tailings for safer and more environmentally friendly storage of waste, backfill with reuse of materials in the mine, water recycling and management.

When it comes to sustainability and climate change, what major challengers or opportunities do you foresee for your industry in the next five years?

Our society is changing exponentially, and mining plays a critical role in addressing its increasing needs on ‘green technologies’. In this context, I believe that the three major trends that will fundamentally transform the mining industry into Climate-Smart Mining are: shifting from diesel to electrification, digitalisation, which leads to increased productivity and more sustainable use of resources while lowering input cost, and automation, which will also increase productivity and change the way of working. Innovation will be the key to a more sustainable mining industry.

What single piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in your profession?

Projects are change driven so a Project Controls Engineer should always:” Expect the best, plan for the worst and be prepared to be surprised”.

Name your favourite place in the world?

Home. My family is the foundation of my development. Home is the place where I always love to return to. Three smiling faces are the reward at the end of each hard-working day.

What would your superpower be?

Flying. I am willing to take risks and enjoy seeing things from a new perspective. I enjoy challenges and use them as an opportunity to persevere.