State’s leader visits one of the state’s leading mines

February 13, 2014

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has seen first hand why NSW miners are leading the way through innovation and education in a visit to Northparkes Mines in the state’s Central West.

Troy Grant MP, Member for Dubbo and NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Resources, and the mayors of Parkes and Forbes Shire Councils joined the Premier to tour the gold and copper mine near Parkes in central west NSW.

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The group has seen many examples of what make the mine innovative, including the Block Caving Knowledge Centre, which is run in partnership with the University of New South Wales.

Northparkes is the first mine in Australia to use the underground block caving technique, making it the perfect site for the Block Caving Knowledge Centre. It houses a 360 degree, 3D simulation of the underground environment - it’s here that engineering students learn to use machinery before heading underground, and where Premier O’Farrell undertook a virtual tour of the mine's underground operations.

“The mine operators have always been innovators, passionate supporters and great corporate citizens to members of the Parkes and Forbes communities,” said Troy Grant MP. “I thank them for the continual support for the community and for hosting the Premier who thoroughly enjoyed his visit.”

The delegation didn’t only meet with current mine workers; the Premier met with potential mine workers of tomorrow - local high school students who were on site for a session on leadership and Zero Harm.

“It is vital that we support and encourage students in their studies and also provide them with an insight into careers in the mining industry,” said Northparkes Mines general manager Stefanie Loader.

“Given it’s the start of a new year we invited the newly appointed schools captains and vice-captains to attend a Zero Harm leadership session and give them the opportunity to meet real-life leaders.”

But the mine isn’t just in the business of mining copper and gold - in fact, much of the land owned by Northparkes Mines surrounding its mining operations is used for farming. You can read more about the Farmer Geoff McCallum and his innovative work with the Department of Primary Industries  innovative trials to develop new farming techniques at World Class Miners.

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