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The Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue’s School Mine Tours Program is on the road for 2022.

The program started to travel its busy 2022 route with Muswellbrook High School students visiting Bengalla Mine on April 7 in the first of 31 tours scheduled for the year, followed by Aberdeen Public School students touring Mount Pleasant Operation on May 18.

A further 20 tours were scheduled in May and June before taking a winter “recess” in July and August and hitting the road again in September visiting one of 12 participating Upper Hunter mines along the way.

The mine tours are offered to all Year 5 and Year 9 students in the Upper Hunter and give students and their teachers a first-hand look at a working mine while learning about the benefits and impacts of mining in the Upper Hunter.

The tours are free and are offered to all schools in the Upper Hunter region. Schools from the Singleton, Muswellbrook and Scone catchments are participating in the 2022 program.

Following a call from community representatives at the Dialogue’s 2016 Community Forum, the program was designed in 2017 by a Dialogue Working Group made up of teachers, community, mining industry and local government representatives.

Using educational materials and messaging developed by the Dialogue Working Group, the tours program offers a fact-based, first-hand education experience to teach local students about the impacts and benefits of coal mining in the Upper Hunter.

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