The MINING DAILY team received a first hand look at the mining industry when it visited Centennial Coal’s Springvale mine near Lithgow in New South Wales last week.
Centennial management extended the invitation after Springvale won MINING DAILY’s Movember competition.
Springvale is an underground coal mine with a capacity of seven million tonnes per annum.
The visit included a journey deep underground to inspect the longwall and get a close up look at a coal shearer in action.
“The coal shearer was really something else,” MINING DAILY editor Dan Hall said.
“To actually see it in use was amazing.”
The trip to the mine was a very unique experience, and allowed the team an opportunity to see the front lines of the industry and gain a better perspective on how a mine works.
“Actually seeing how the operation works, and what the miners do, gives you a greater appreciation for the industry,” MINING DAILY journalist Jessica Darnbrough said.
“Next time I’m writing a coal story, I’ll remember what it’s like to be 400 metres underground and 5 kms from the coal mouth.”
Aside from the technical logistics and engineering of the mine, what stood out most was the sense of loyalty and camaraderie that existed at Springvale.
According to mine manager Terry O’Brien, most of the miners live and grew up in the nearby Blue Mountains and have a real sense of family and home in the area.
The MINING DAILY team is very grateful to Centennial for the invitation and for the first class treatment they received during what was a once in a lifetime experience.