20th anniversary celebrations at Northparkes Mines

August 14, 2014

Northparkes Mines is this week celebrating twenty years of production.
The copper and gold mine, a member of the NSW Minerals Council, is located 27 kilometres north west of Parkes in Central West NSW. The mine was Australia’s first underground block cave mine, a highly efficient technique for underground mining.
With around 310 full time employees and 250 contractors working there each year, the mine and its people have contributed hugely to the local community throughout its life.
One of the biggest initiatives is the Northparkes GP Cup, a community event kick started by the mine in 2009 to help raise money to attract nurses and doctors to the area. Around $100,000 has been raised at the town’s biggest sports carnival, successfully helping with the recruitment of at least two doctors and two nurses.
As employees look back on the past two decades, Northparkes Mines is releasing three videos to reminisce about how things have changed during that time. 
Sue McGrath joined Northparkes in 1996, and describes her workmates as “extended family” who “worked and played together”.
Natalie Simpson remembers how she was “welcomed with open arms” and emphasises the good relationship she has with her colleagues.
And Rob Cunningham has been with Northparkes Mines since day one. He has lived his whole life at Northparkes, “changing careers” and even the “direction” of his life. Rob commends the company’s commitment to the local community and the opportunities it provides. 
Northparkes Mines is also a great example of how our miners are able to coexist with other industries, with a farm operation being successfully managed by farmer Geoff McCallum for much of the mine’s life. Producing wheat, barley, canola, field peas and lupins, Geoff says that the mine hasn’t had any affect on the farms surrounding the mine and believes “you could be farming anywhere”.

The mine is celebrating its strong history in the community over the past 20 years, but the mine and its workforce have a very positive future to look forward to as well following the recent announcement that the mine has received a seven year mine-life extension, securing the long term future of the business. 
NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee, will take part in a special celebration at Northparkes Mines this Friday along with Minister for Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts and Andrew Gee MP, the State Member for Orange.

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