Born and raised in Lancaster County, South Carolina, Beverly Adams has lived in close proximity to the Haile Gold Mine her entire life, but until six years ago she had never imagined forming a career with the mine.
After 23 years in the banking industry, in 2015 Beverly saw a new opportunity working with OceanaGold, who had just purchased the mine from Romarco Minerals.
It was perfect timing. Beverly was ready for a change – but not just with any company. Her new employer would need to share the same strong community values.
“As a branch manager at one of our local banks, I had dealings with many of the landowners who had sold land to OceanaGold as they expanded their operations, and they always spoke so highly of their interactions with the company,” Beverly said.
“The most common feedback I got was that OceanaGold wasn’t transactional. They worked closely with landowners to relocate them to suitable housing, find loans for new properties, and in some cases, even helped them find new homes and move,” she said.
“Through these conversations with my local community, I formed an appreciation of the company’s culture, so when I investigated a new job at the mine, I didn’t hesitate to take up an offer.
“Fast forward six years, and I am working in a job I love, in a team environment where I am learning every day and developing my career along a new path. Life sometimes surprises us with rare opportunities, and I’m grateful this one came my way.”
Beverly quickly earned her stripes with OceanaGold, and it wasn’t long before her work ethic and community-minded approach were recognised with a promotion to the role of Community Relations Coordinator.
“I’ve got the best office in the world,” Beverly exclaimed, commenting on the historic Kershaw rail depot, which OceanaGold purchased and restored in 2010. Today, the depot is open to the public as the Kershaw Historical Museum and is used by OceanaGold as a community meeting space. The museum comprises items donated by the town’s residents and objects found at the Haile Gold Mine.
“It’s a unique building that brings the mining and local community together, allowing us all to connect in a space that’s steeped in local history,” she said.
“It’s meaningful to our community that OceanaGold recognises our past and celebrates it. I’ve never worked for a company that genuinely recognises their broad social impact the way OceanaGold does.”
Beverly said before modern day mining recommenced at Haile in the early 2000s, the County was best known as a textile manufacturing hub.
“When the industry predominantly left our region, unemployment skyrocketed,” she said.
“OceanaGold’s sustainable mining approach ensures we will never impact the town or its people in that manner.”
“I’m proud to be part of a global team dedicated to delivering and monitoring programs with a strong social conscience. The goal is to ensure our host communities are self-sufficient when mine life eventually ends.”
Serving her community is clearly part of Beverly’s DNA. When asked about her proudest career achievements, she didn’t describe a project she had delivered on time or a cost saving she had made. Instead, Beverly talked about the way she had made people feel.
“A community member told me the other day that she trusted me; she considered me one of her friends,” Beverly said.
“As the mine’s Community Relations Coordinator, I’ve made strong bonds with people I wouldn’t ordinarily come into contact with. I genuinely care about the community’s wellbeing and it’s rewarding that they recognise it.”