Peter Westerhuis, General Manager of Operations and CEO of Ensham Mine, is a finalist in the 5th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.
In the early hours of January 19, 2008, the Ensham Mine site, east of Emerald in the central highlands, was unexpectedly inundated by a massive torrent of floodwaters.
During the following week, a volume of water equivalent to about five times the capacity of Sydney Harbour flowed over the top of the mine.
After the flooding subsided, some 110,000 megalitres of water remained in the mine’s two largest and most productive pits, effectively halving production and presenting the minesite with a new set of challenges.
Peter Westerhuis and his dedicated team of permanent employees and contractors jumped into action.
Westerhuis was subject to intense media focus during the disaster and in the months afterwards.
However, regardless of the scrutiny placed on him and his extremely busy schedule, Westerhuis accommodated the additional demands to reassure Ensham’s employees and others about the mine’s situation and resolve to recover its operations as soon as possible.
Regardless of what was happening around him, Westerhuis continued to put the well-being of his team first throughout the entire flood ordeal and is committed to bringing the mine back to what it once was – a major coal exporter, employer and contributor to the Central Highlands region.
Westerhuis has been the silent achiever throughout the entire ordeal, preferring to put the wellbeing of his team and mine before media interviews.