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Hunter Valley

Outstanding Achievements

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The entire NSW mining industry was on show at the NSW Mining Industry & Suppliers Awards, but it was the Hunter mining industry who stole the show.

The Awards Dinner was held for the first time since the pandemic and over 250 people from the mining industry, the community and more than 20 MPs from across the Parliament, came together to recognise excellent achievements in our industry.

NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee praised the outstanding finalists and all working in mining across NSW who contribute so much to mining and to our State.

“The last few years have been tough for communities right across NSW. Despite these challenges, our world-class miners have continued to operate safely and responsibly, protecting jobs, supporting local communities and maintaining our contribution to NSW,” Mr Galilee said.

“Our Industry and Suppliers’ Awards acknowledge our high achievers in mining in NSW and our award winners are critical to the ongoing pursuit of excellence in our industry.”

NSW Mining Operation of the Year

United Wambo Joint Venture, Glencore

United Wambo Joint Venture (UWJV) is a partnership between Glencore, the CFMMEU and Peabody involving the development of the new United open cut in 2020 and integration of the adjacent 50-year-old Wambo open cut. Strategies to improve productivity include thin seams where the strip ratio was favourable, clean coal mining practices, pit shell improvements, and a new safety improvement involving a co-driver concept.

UWJV implemented a new safety and environmental management system as the joint venture commenced a new mining operation and integrated an existing one. New technology helped to optimise the pitshell and improve the operational management of noise, air quality and real-time weather monitoring. Dust, noise, blasting and lighting management have also improved. Since the JV commenced, complaint numbers have been reduced by half, due to noise mitigation work.

Glencore has driven several initiatives to improve internal company culture, including workshops and UWJV has supported many local events and community groups. They have also participated in programs such as STEM presentations to students, graduate and student programs, traineeships, mine tours with the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue, indigenous scholarships and pathways, and the WIMNet mentoring program.

“We’re so thrilled to be named Operation of the Year and also incredibly proud of Tristah, who is a driven employee who has gone from strength to strength throughout her career. The Operation of the Year Award is worthy recognition of our entire workforce who have worked tirelessly since we began operating less than two years ago. UWJV is focused on being the best operation, that is – continuing to be a safe and productive operation and always looking for continuous improvements. We’ve been able to successfully develop a culture of resilience, innovation and agility to respond to the challenges and we’re excited for what’s ahead.” UWJV Operations Manager Nick Slater.

NSW Mining – Supplier of the Year

Nautitech Mining Systems

Nautitech is an original technology manufacturer and global provider of smart electronic and electrical solutions for original-equipment manufacturers and mine sites in underground mining across NSW.

Nautitech commits 15%-20% of the company’s turnover to research and development, focusing on product development and design. This year, Nautitech has worked with Komatsu, Centennial, and Androck to develop a comprehensive solution for shuttle cars. This solution helps improve communications, visibility and safety, through smart technology, including real-time monitoring, efficient light solutions, digital displays, safety cameras and fast-speed internet solutions.

Despite challenges caused by Covid, supply chain issues, and parts shortages, Nautitech achieved year-on-year growth. The company sources 94% of its base materials and components from suppliers in NSW.

“As an OTM (Original Technology Manufacturer) in hazardous area mining, Nautitech® is extremely proud to be counted amongst the highly successful previous NSW Supplier of the Year winners. Over the past two years we have overcome many challenges including supply chain issues and parts shortages as well as skills and labour shortages. We have provided internships to university students from STEM disciplines and successfully added new talent to our engineering team. Nautitech® is poised to provide comprehensive solutions to OEMs and mine sites as they explore ways to optimise their output and deliver value to clients while maintaining the highest level of safety for mine workers.”

NSW Mining – Small Business of the Year

SafeGauge

SafeGauge was launched in 2019 by founder Luke Dawson, developing specialist “smart” tooling that allows workers to maintain heavy machinery safely.

Before establishing SafeGauge, Luke was a heavy mobile plant mechanic. As part of his role, Luke routinely tested hydraulic pressure in machinery across mine sites. Testing exposed technicians to significant risks, and Luke believed there had to be a safer solution. SafeGauge launched its first unique-to-market product in July 2020 – the SafeTest PT4 kit: A Bluetooth kit to wirelessly test hydraulic pressure from up to 50m away. The second product, the SafeTest DI, is a smart-tool measuring wear on heavy machinery components, using an optical encoder to improve the accuracy and reliability of readings compared to others on the market. Products reduce testing time by 80%.

Based in the Hunter Valley, SafeGauge has quickly grown from a team of two to fifteen and the team pride themselves on promoting and supporting community fundraising events, especially those focusing on well-being and safety in the workplace.

It means a lot to all of us here at Safe Gauge to receive this award in recognition of all our hard work. I want to thank my very talented team that come to work every day to solve problems that will help the people in our industry go home safe. Rebecca Dawson, Paul Johnson, Josh Conroy, Dan Hawkins, Steve Chick, Hash Khan, Scott Olero, Sandaru Liyanage, Augustin Lourdunathan, Shanni Dillon, Sean Dillon and Josh Kruik.” Luke Dawson.

NSW Mining – Young Achiever

Tristah Allen – Statutory Electrical Engineer, Glencore, United Wambo Joint Venture (UWJV)

Tristah is the Statutory Electrical Engineer for UWJV. She is also the Site Apprentice Coordinator and supervises and mentors UWJV’s electrical and mechanical apprentices, engineering trainees and graduates.

In 2007, Tristah joined Xstrata as an Apprentice Electrician at the Ravensworth site. She was the first female to be appointed as an apprentice within the Xstrata business. She has had continuous success as an Electrical Engineer at Glencore’s Mangoola Open Cut mine and then Liddell mine. In 2020 Tristah joined UWJV as its Electrical Support Engineer, and in 2022 she was successfully appointed to her current position of Statutory Electrical Engineer, the first female to be appointed as a Statutory Engineer within Glencore Coal Assets.

Tristah is a driven individual who has persevered through personal and professional difficulties. She credits her success to her study efforts outside the workplace, pursuing feedback and guidance from mentors along her journey – all while raising a family. Tristah also plans to pay it forward, becoming a mentor in the 2023 NSW Women in Mining Mentoring Program after completing the program as a mentee in 2022.

“I already felt like a winner for being nominated for the category, so I was very excited to receive the award. I couldn’t have done it without the support of Glencore Coal, the UWJV workforce and my manager, Darren Meyer, who has always believed in me. At UWJV, it’s the people, the camaraderie and our culture on site that makes it such a special place to work.” Tristah Allen.

Outstanding Contribution to Mining

Fiona Robertson – Non-Executive Director Whitehaven Coal, Former Chair, Women in Mining Network NSW

After graduating as a geologist, Fiona joined Chase Manhattan Bank in London to commence a career in corporate finance. For more than 30 years Fiona has combined her understanding of resources and finance to work with emerging and mid-tier resource companies as a banker, CFO and non-executive director, successfully guiding growth-oriented resource companies through the transition from entrepreneurial junior to ASX 200 producer.

Fiona’s contribution to the profile and support for women in mining in NSW has been outstanding. Her enthusiasm and hard work were key to building the NSW WIMnet Committee, which she Chaired from 2013-15. Under Fiona’s leadership the WIMnet Committee commenced the first WIMnet Mentoring Program in 2015. Fiona’s legacy continues, with current and past WIMnet Chairs and Committee members developing under Fiona’s leadership. The Committee goes from strength to strength and the mentoring program grows each year. Sponsorship and participation in the program are highly competitive.

“I’m overwhelmed to be honoured with this amazing award from the NSW Minerals Council. In acknowledging my contribution to gender diversity and inclusion, this award very much reflects the passion and support of both my WIMnet and industry colleagues, as well as the enthusiastic backing that has come from across the NSW coal industry and the wider mining sector. As a Whitehaven Director, I am especially proud to see the initiatives Whitehaven has implemented to increase gender diversity within its workforce, including to support women to develop their careers and achieve leadership roles. It’s great to see this recognition of how important developing a diverse talent pipeline is to the health and ongoing success of the industry. A huge achievement by everyone – my thanks to all who have supported these initiatives for the part each have played, and importantly, continue to play.” Fiona Robertson

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of the 2022 NSW Mining Industry & Suppliers Awards!

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