Farming is not traditionally a business that works together with mining, but Northparkes Mines putting in the effort to show how wrong such attitudes can be.
Located just outside of Parkes, the New South Welsh miner is one of the largest producers of copper and gold in the state, but is also producing wheat, canola and barley.
The NSW Minerals Council has launched a publicity campaign to advertise a series of mining companies that have chosen to follow this path and set examples of mining and agriculture working together in a profitable relationship.
Northparkes Mines farm manager Geoff McCallum has been farming the area since 1964.
“We farm about 3,000 hectares around the mine with no till.
We grow wheat, barley, canola, field peas and lupins,” he said
Geoff champions conservation farming, and aims to
improve the original soil quality and productivity of the land.
“The enterprise has been going since ‘97 and I believe the
soil’s getting better.
“The soil tests show the soil’s not getting any worse and
our yields are persisting. I’ve never seen an effect from the mine – there’s
nothing to affect it… even on the boundary of the mine, there’s nothing there.
You could be farming anywhere.
“We’ve planted 10,000 trees a year since I’ve been here, so
that’s around two hundred thousand trees we’ve planted so far.”
NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said that it is
vital in NSW for agriculture, mining and tourism to work and thrive together.
“NSW has a long and proud history of mining, working side by
side with other important industries like agriculture to support regional towns
and communities,” he said.