GUNNEDAH and Quirindi high school students joined fellow students from Muswellbrook last month to get a close-up look at one of the region’s largest open-cut coalmines.
More than 30 students from Gunnedah High, St Mary’s High – also in Gunnedah – Quirindi High and Muswellbrook Enrichment Centre were invited to tour the Mt Arthur coalmine, operated by BHP Billiton, to learn about trade careers in the mining industry.
Mt Arthur Coal provided the touring students with information about career opportunities at the mine, including pathways from school to work through local apprenticeships and graduate programs.
During the tour, students visited the mine’s main lookout, the mine workshop, electrical and engine repair bays and climbed on board a Liebherr truck and a dozer.
Mt Arthur Coal general manager Michael White said BHP Billiton was happy to give students the experience of what it was like working at a mine.
“Visiting Mt Arthur Coal was a great opportunity for these students to learn more about trade skills that interest them and how they are applied in the mining industry,” Mr White said.
“In particular, we showed them some of the equipment our qualified tradespeople get to work with every day, some of which is unique to the mining industry.”
He said the company was committed to employing and training local people and the tour was a good way to interact with local, enthusiastic students about current and future career opportunities.
“It is exciting to think that some of these students may become part of our workforce in the future,” Mr White said.