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Xstrata Coal opens Australian mine training facility

16 April 2012

The Baal Bone mine in the Western Coalfields, about 130 kilometres from Sydney and about 26km north-west of Lithgow in New South Wales will be used by Xstrata as its regional training centre, where new recruits will spend 12 weeks learning mining skills.

Baal Bone will be Xstrata's main Australian training facility
Baal Bone will be Xstrata's main Australian training facility

According to Xstrata, "what's different from more traditional courses is that the trainees not only attend classroom tutorials, they complete familiarisation and operations with the equipment on the surface and then proceed underground to operate the equipment in a 'real-world' environment before they start their full-time careers".

Mark Bulkeley, Xstrata Coal's Baal Bone health safety and training manager, said the first group of 12 trainees graduated a few weeks ago and are already working at the Ulan West mine.

"The feedback we've received from them is that the Baal Bone training facility enabled them to have a better understanding and knowledge before going into production," Bulkeley said.

The courses are designed to be as comprehensive as possible and include mine rescue and coal mine competency certifications.

In January last year, the company was granted a lease expansion to continue longwall mining at Baal Bone until 2014.

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