Celebrating Our Industry

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Hundreds of mining industry participants, technical experts and government and community representatives from across NSW came together at the annual NSW Minerals Council Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC) Conference.

A record number of people attended this year’s HSEC Conference, bringing together around 550 people from across NSW for one of the NSW mining industry’s most important annual events.

The theme for this year’s Conference was “Learning and Leading”, with a focus on leadership, development and networking. The Conference featured examples of leading practice, lessons learned and emerging regulatory and industry issues for professionals in health and safety, environmental management and community engagement.

“With a record number of attendees from across NSW at our flagship event this year, the Conference was an opportunity to discuss our challenges, identify opportunities, celebrate excellence, and focus on how we can continue to improve,” said NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee. 

One of the highlights of the Conference is the annual HSEC Awards that showcase and celebrate some of the NSW mining industry’s best innovations in health, safety, the environment and community engagement.

“Our HSEC Awards are an important part of the Conference as they shine a light on our industry’s efforts to deliver better outcomes for our workforce, our communities, and the local environment,” Stephen said.

“As always, our 2023 award entrants are of a very high standard demonstrating our industry’s commitment to improving how we operate and to continue to mine responsibly now and in the future. Congratulations to all our winners and finalists.”

The Team from Amp Control

2023 NSW HSEC Award Winners
Health Excellence – Ampcontrol
DRIFTEX Battery Electric Vehicle for Underground Mining Operations Ampcontrol’s DRIFTEX
solution is a certified Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) specifically designed for underground mining applications. It incorporates a 60kWh intrinsically safe battery management system with a long cycle life of 20,000-30,000 cycles, allowing for approximately ten years of operation with 80% battery life remaining. Notably, DRIFTEX is the first commercially available and certified explosion-protected BEV for underground mines.
The development of DRIFTEX aims to reduce diesel emissions in the underground mining environment. Its primary benefit lies in its ability to replace diesel-powered vehicles with an alternate power source, offering significant potential for industry-wide health and environmental improvements. Furthermore, DRIFTEX has been designed with a similar physicality to existing personnel carriers, facilitating ease of transition for operators.

Jason Ingham, Superintendent Health and Safety, Newcrest

Safety Excellence – Newcrest
Cadia’s Stringer Chain Telehandler
Cadia Valley Operations Fleet Strategy, in collaboration with Manitou Australia, successfully tackled a challenging maintenance task related to replacing failing Stringer Chains on an underground conveyor belt system. The task posed various risks due to the system’s location on a steep grade with limited space, potentially leading to machine instability. To address this, a two-stage approach was adopted.
The first stage involved designing and constructing a compliant machine with essential safety features, such as electronic crush protection and stability safety interlocks. Additionally, an existing safety cage was modified to meet requirements and prevent machine overloading. The result was Cadia’s new Stringer Chain Telehandler, which enhances safety, improves efficiency and reduces operational costs.

Mark Hartig from Evolution Mining and Ally Coe, General Manager of Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC)

Community Excellence – Evolution Mining
Galari Agriculture Company
Evolution’s Cowal Gold Operation (CGO) in the NSW Riverina established a shared value project with the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) to create Galari Agricultural Company (Galari), a farming and training enterprise aimed at supporting Indigenous peoples. The partnership involved a significant financial and in-kind investment of $1.1 million, demonstrating a genuine commitment to the self-determination and success of the WCC community.
Since its inception, Galari has achieved significant milestones, including leasing 1,500 acres of land for livestock production, renovating a farmhouse as a cultural hub, hiring key personnel, and successfully training and employing Indigenous individuals. The project has been widely promoted through internal communication channels, events, and media coverage.

Jonathon Thompson – Group Manager, Environment and Community – Aurelia Metals

Environmental Excellence – Aurelia Metals
Recordable Environmental Incident Frequency Rate (REIFR) Reporting
Aurelia Metals introduced the Recordable Environmental Incident Frequency Rate (REIFR) as a new measure for tracking and reporting its environmental performance. This measure calculates the number of environmental incidents with a risk rating of level three and above per million hours worked, similar to how safety performance is measured. Aurelia incorporated REIFR into its internal and external reports, reflecting its commitment to transparency and minimising environmental impact.
Aurelia’s commitment to environmental performance over and above regulatory compliance has contributed to improved safety results as part of its broader strategy. The company has witnessed year-on-year improvements in both TRIFR and REIFR, reflecting its dedication to responsible mining practices.

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