Mt Thorley Warkworth coal mine has been selected as a finalist in the 5th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for its active partnership with members from the local aboriginal community.
The minesite recently undertook Rio Tinto Coal Australia’s largest subsurface archaeological excavation.
Members of the local Aboriginal community worked side-by-side with scientists to uncover the secrets of their ancestors, and gain unique skills in cultural studies.
Archaeological excavations are rarely done on such a scale, and when they are, the Aboriginal community are seldom included as partners in the process.
At the Mount Thorley Warkworth dig, archaeologists were retained who outlined a process in which they would work with Traditional Owners, sharing new skills and a greater understanding of the Aboriginal heritage in the area.
The mine is also part of Coal and Allied Community Trust venture. The trust supports the development of the region’s economy, enhances and maintains the environment and provides local youth with training and development opportunities.
To date, the trust committee has contributed more than $723,000 towards achieving improved access and sustainable outcomes for Aboriginal people in education, and economic participation.
The projects funded are those most likely to deliver long term, sustainable outcomes for the Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal community. Applications may be made by members of the Hunter Valley Aboriginal community.