MY MINING LIFE – Benny Butlin

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Who are you and what do you do?

Benny Butlin. I am a shotfirer at Rix’s Creek Mine.

When did you start in the mining industry and what was your first job?

Started at Stratford Coal in 2011 after gaining heavy machinery experience in the civil sector.

How different is your job now to what you wanted to be when you were a kid?

I wanted to be a professional surfer and big wave warrior. Due to lack of natural talent I stumbled upon the mining game which I’m hoping to have better luck with.

What’s a usual day at work entail?

Up at 4:30am. Pre start meeting at 6am. Pit floor around 6:45am and start loading soon after.

What’s the best thing about your job?

At Rix’s Creek I’ve been fortunate enough to have many diverse roles including operating large scale mining equipment in a variety of working conditions and environments. My current role allows me to pick up unique skills and also provides a lot of stability.

The worst thing?

In my current role I’m out in the elements a lot.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Getting used to mining shift-work rosters and managing family life around that.

What has been your proudest achievement?

The diverse range of skills I’ve picked up at Rix’s Creek.

What’s something about your job that would surprise people to know?

I get paid to blow stuff up! In a highly managed, precise and controlled manner of course!

What’s a funny story about work that you can tell?

What happens on the shot, stays on the shot.

What do you do in your downtime?

With three young kids – it’s all about family and maybe the odd cheeky beer with the mates. I cherish the time going back to my roots on the Central Coast and spending time with family when I can.

The mining industry gets more than its fair share of criticism. What is your view of our industry and the impact it has?

Fact. What we do creates a society that we all live in and prosper from and in Australia we do it bloody well whilst minimising impact.

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