Australian Potash, AngloGold Ashanti, St Barbara and Firetech have given local schoolchildren insight into mining operations and careers at the inaugural Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Innovation Day in Laverton, Western Australia.
The companies hosted students from five regional and remote communities to showcase future technologies and employment opportunities in drones, robotics and other STEM pathways.
The potential future resources industry workers from Mulga Queen, Cosmo Newberry, Mt Margaret, Leonora and Laverton participated in interactive virtual reality and coding activities, broadening their knowledge of the operations in their local area.
The STEM Innovation Day received positive feedback from the local communities, leading the supporting companies to build a medium to long term STEM augmentation program, encouraging further participation from local schools.
Australian Potash managing director and chief executive officer Matt Shackleton said engaging school-aged children from local communities is important to the company’s goals to engage with the communities in which it operates its Lake Wells sulphate of potash (SOP) project.
“Our commitment to community engagement and the development of economic capacity has a broad focus, from engaging the school cohort to defining local and Indigenous employment and contracting opportunities to be offered through development and operations,” Shackleton said.
“This inaugural STEM Innovation Day was a fantastic success with children from surrounding remote and isolated communities (attending) in an expo style, interactive program.
“We very much look forward to continuing our engagement with the local schools and stakeholders to develop and implement the medium-term STEM augmentation program.”
The Lake Wells project will create employment opportunities across the Laverton region for years to come, with an estimated 30-year mine life.
It is expected to produce 150,000 tonnes per annum of premium grade SOP across its lifetime, using approximately 21 per cent of the total measured resource estimate.