Western Australian Training Minister Peter Collier has opened The CUT Mine, a $98,000 simulated mine at Perth’s Central TAFE, designed to give students a feel for working underground.
The simulated mine is located in a converted service tunnel underneath the TAFE’s Aberdeen Street campus.
A set-designing company converted the tunnel, lining the cement walls with material to simulate rock faces containing copper, gold and nickel.
The mine also includes a refuge chamber, donated by MineARC, which is identical to those used in industry.
The Minister said the simulated mine was the first of its kind in WA and meant students would no longer have to travel 500 km to experience underground work.
The facility, along with the support of the industry, would help Western Australians gain skills and qualifications to be a part of the State’s economic future.
“Students who are undertaking the Certificate III in Mining Exploration will use the tunnel to learn face mapping techniques and basic mine safety,” he said.
“Graduates of the six-month course could go on to be employed as exploration field assistants, pit technicians and underground geo-technicians.
“Working underground is not for everyone and The CUT Mine gives students a realistic taste of spending long hours with the only lighting from a lamp on their helmet.”