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The Baal Bone underground coal mine near Lithgow NSW has become the first coal mine in Australia to continue operations following the expiration of its coal deposits. It has now become a coal mining training centre for its owners Xstrata.

Following the completion of longwall 31 in 2011 the mine found a new
way to continue life as a coal mine. A year later, in 2012, it was turned into an underground training mine for Xstrata mine workers. New mining workers for the company now spend 12 weeks in the mine to complete a course that includes classroom lessons, as well as hands on experience. They actually operate equipment and machinery, honing their skills in a real underground environment, before going out to work at other Xstrata operations. The objective being the provision of experience and skills in underground coal mining that they would not otherwise have the opportunity of achieving in the short term.

The big difference in what Xstrata is doing at the Baal Bone Colliery and other coal mining courses, is that in this case the trainees not only get classroom tuition, they also receive complete on the job training using equipment on the surface before being taken underground where they operate all the usual underground mining equipment as they would in a working coal mine.

The first group of mine workers to undergo the training provided at the Baal Bone Colliery all went on to work at the Ulan West underground coal mine. Management at the Ulan West mine reported back to the company that they all arrived at the mine with a better knowledge and understanding of coal mining than they otherwise would have had. This prior knowledge made their induction into their new jobs much more productive than would have been the case with other new employees who hadn't had the same opportunity.

It is an ideal opportunity for workers wishing to get into the industry but who don't have any previous experience. It provides these people with an opportunity to learn and practice specialised skills that will stand them in good stead when applying for jobs in the mining industry generally. Especially when taking into account the fast growth the industry is currently experiencing.

There are 110 people currently working at the Baal Bone mine training centre. Therefore, the mine is still creating employment in the local community in its employment of assessors and trainers. The move to make the mine a training centre will therefore benefit both Xstrata and the wider community of Lithgow well into the future.

Baal Bone was initially developed as an underground coal mine in 1982/83. It is located at the west of the Sydney Basin . Before that it operated as an open cut mine owned by the Australian Government from 1940 to 1952. Slack environment protection in the early days of the mine allowed the federal government to walk away from the site without undertaking any rehabilitation work whatsoever. The unsafe and unstable site eventually became a liability to Xstrata. In 2004 a plan was developed by Xstrata that allowed it to exploit left behind coal reserves at the open cut while at the same time begin a process of rehabilitation.

Xstrata Coal

Xstrata Coal's Head Office is based in Sydney NSW but they operate globally. Employing more than 17,000 people including contractors with the majority working in Australia. Xstrata has been included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index since 2006.Operations include both underground and open more


Xstrata Coal
Level 38 Gateway, 1 Macquarie Place
Sydney, NSW 2000


Phone02 9253 6700

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Wallerawang Collieries has a contract role at baal-bone

Information Coming Soon....


Wallerawang Collieries
Mudgee Rd
Cullen Bullen, NSW 2890


More info about Wallerawang Collieries

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