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Bengalla Mine UPdate

 Bengalla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The future is looking good according to Jo-Anne Scarini, General Manager of Bengalla Mining Company.

Ms Scarini was our Guest Speaker during our July breakfast held Tuesday 7th July at the Muswellbrook Race Club.

Ms Scarini provided some insight to our Members and Guests about the following topics as seen by Bengalla:

  • The future outlook of the mine,
  • Environmental and Community initiatives
  • Dry Creek Diversion project

Future Outlook

Current production growth targets are modestly aimed at 10.7m tonnes per annum continuing a modest and sustainable growth into 2016. Bengalla is currently studying how to grow to the 15m tonne p.a. recently approved consent limits in a productive, efficient and sustainable way. For example, with a single pit structure, there are constraints in the volume of equipment that can be in the pit at any one point in time so that there isn't unnecessary congestion that will lead to significant inefficiencies. 

Bengalla take the rehabilitation of their mining overburden projects extremely seriously as they map out their plans at least 5 years ahead. This not only focuses on improving the visual aspect but is imperative in reducing dust emissions. Every year, they sow crop cover and aim for more native pastures and trees in order to minimise their footprint, whilst also monitoring these rehab projects to they ensure minimise weeds and avoid erosion.

Currently, Bengalla are trialing Cattle on the rehab area which is an early test of the proposed land use post mining activity, it's also used as a trial method to control weed prone areas.

Environmental & Community Initiatives

Bengalla pride themselves in being a valuable member of our Community.Recently, the Coal & Allied Community Development Fund has refocused its strategy into the four key areas of:

 

  • Economic development;
  • Health;
  • Education; and
  • Environment and land management.

They are currently seeking a flagship project in the last three of these areas following a decision earlier in the year to fund an enterprise development program utilising Sirolli philosophy and models.

Bengalla has adopted a communities strategy building on a strong foundation as a valued neighbour and partner within the community focussing on:
- Local employment;
- Local economic development;
- Community development; and
- Indigenous participation

Strong Community Engagement:

- Bengalla's 4 year Soil Carbon Community Project is soon to complete and has included 17 land owners. This project has partnered with the University of Newcastle to help improve soil carbon and agricultural productivity for the region. The project concludes in 2015 after approximately 100 project sites on regional properties have been re-sampled, analysed and compared to the baseline data.

- Youth Engagement: Bengalla has recently initiated a local employment pathways program for High School students. 10 Muswellbrook High School students were offerred the opportunity of Work Experience across production, maintenance, Survey, community, Human Resources, and administration areas on the mine. In addition, Bengalla continue to recruit 4 new apprentices each year providing a total of 16 apprentices on site at any point in time. They also provide university scholarships and traineeships to youth participation in the workplace and providing Hunter TAFE students VET approved work experience placements throughout the year.

*** If you know somebody looking for an apprenticeship, keep an eye out in the local papers over the coming weeks as Bengalla will commence recruitment of apprentices for the 2016 intake in August this year. *** 

Local Economic Development

- Coal and Allied are funding Ernesto Sirrolli's Enterprise Facilitation project which currently have 12 clients and a resource board of 30 members. This program is provides a formal structure to the network that entrepreneurs need to kick start their business. A full time facilitator will be commencing with this project in August 2015. For more information contact Travis Bates by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- Local procurement: is considered by Coal & Allied to be the surrounding 5 local government areas. Coal & Allied spends 23% of expenditure with local business which represents $280m annual spend. Bengalla Mine specifically spend 37% in local procurement. When looking specifically at expenditure in the Muswellbrook local government area this expenditure is more like 17% (or $36m p.a.). Bengalla pride itself on having an internal culture of "healthy challenge" to use local suppliers. This expenditure in our local community represents a brilliant opportunity for our local businesses to work with Bengalla. 

Community Development
- As part of the voluntary planning agreement with the Local Government Area of Muswellbrook, Bengalla provides funds to use in improving the local infrastructure such as the Sam Adams College ($800k) and the Upper Hunter Tertiary Education Facility currently under construction. 
- In addition, the Coal & Allied Community Development Fund has provided funding of over $13.5m for 100 local projects since 1999

Dry Creek Diversion Project

Bengalla will spend $50m on the Dry Creek diversion Project over the coming 12 months.

This project is to develop a clean water dam on the Northern side of Wybong Road and series of pipes and pumps to divert the creek's overflow into the dam. There will be 7km of diversion levee on the contours to maximise the clean water caught by this dam. The project is due to  commence in September 2015 with completion in August 2016.

There will be a small amount of interruption to community as there are three road crossings as part of this project. A community reference group will be created in August 2015. 

Tenders are currently being worked through by the Bengalla team and aims to maximise local procurement .

*** Thanks to Debbie Day of Bengalla for providing the photograph for this update. ***

2016 BUSINESS AWARDS Entries Close: 24th March 2017

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