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For Whitehaven, one door has closed and another has opened – literally. The company celebrated nearly two decades of operations at Werris Creek Mine with a Community Open Day in October. The mine has been operating since 2005 and is now preparing to transition to the rehabilitation phase.

Over 1000 people turned out at the Quirindi Showground for the open day that included displays from local emergency services, free family activities and bus tours out to the mine where community members had the opportunity to plant a tree in the rehabilitation area.

Whitehaven’s General Manager of Community Engagement Darren Swain said the event was a fantastic way to bring employees and the community together.

“It was fantastic to see more than 1000 people come through the gates and enjoy a great day of free family activities.

“The guided bus tours of the Werris Creek mine site were particularly popular, with more than 350 people getting a final behind-the-scenes look at how a working coal mine operates.”

Whitehaven is expected to conclude coal production at the Werris Creek site in the first quarter of 2024 and so far 235 hectares have been rehabilitated. All of the 150 employees are being offered jobs at Whitehaven’s other operations as part of the transition.

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So, while the door at Werris Creek is closing, a new door is opening at Vickery Mine which is where a lot of the Werris Creek workers, and equipment, have been transitioned to.

The Vickery Extension Project was approved in August 2020 to construct an open-cut coal mine and associated infrastructure about 25 kilometres north of Gunnedah.

The proposal builds upon an already-approved mine, on a site that has already been mined over many years – extending that mine will make the existing operations more efficient and sustainable over the longer term.

Managing Director and CEO of Whitehaven Paul Flynn said construction is underway.

“Construction on site is underway as part of works to establish water management infrastructure, overhaul mining equipment, construct modest site facilities and establish a box cut.

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