Zero Harm is our approach to every aspect of our operations. We care for our people, our environment and the community in which we live and work.
We proudly work together towards our shared purpose.
We realise the potential in everyone, support their wellbeing and enjoy what we do.
We will be better tomorrow than we are today.
CMOC Executive Chairman and CEO
Hubert has been responsible for leading the business, continuing to foster the zero harm culture and supporting all employees and contractors to successfully deliver on business commitments.
In early 2019, China Molybdenum Company (CMOC) and Sumitomo announced the final approval of a new block cave mine at Northparkes called E26 Lift 1 North (E26L1N) and the approval of an Expansion Project. These projects combined are an investment of over $300 million in Northparkes.
This demonstrates CMOC’s confidence in the sustainability and longevity of Northparkes, enabling them to achieve their vision of ‘A century of mining together’. Keep reading to learn more about these key major projects.
We are really excited to see these projects come to fruition and to watch Northparkes continue to develop and grow. Northparkes plays a pivotal role in our strong and long-term presence in Australia as an internationally renowned mining company.
This demonstrates CMOC’s confidence in the sustainability and longevity of Northparkes, enabling them to achieve their vision of ‘A century of mining together’. Keep reading to learn more about these key major projects.
On Thursday 15 August 2019, Northparkes officially celebrated 25 years of operation. I was able to attend the onsite celebrations with employees and our Joint Venture partners, Sumitomo Mining Metal Oceania and Sumitomo Corporation Mineral Resources – who have been part of the Northparkes Joint Venture since its inception.
When CMOC had the opportunity to purchase Northparkes back in 2013, we recognised the potential in not only the business and its future, but the people. We are excited to watch Northparkes continue to grow and develop, as Northparkes plays a pivotal role in our strong and long-term presence in Australia and as an internationally renowned mining company. The quality and excellence of the people at Northparkes, ultimately contribute to the success and reputation of our operation.
Zero Harm Operations is our first and foremost priority at Northparkes, ensuring the safety of all employees and the excellent standards and reputation we have with our community and the environment. As shown throughout this report, Northparkes is constantly striving for sustainability and improvement both of which are important to CMOC.
As we look to the future, we will continue to uphold the values of sustainable development and keep working hard towards a common development based on responsibility, technology, our team and fully assume our social responsibilities. We are excited to see what the future holds for our business as we strive to develop and grow. Northparkes will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring our success into the future.
Northparkes Mines Managing Director
In January, we announced the approval of two major projects – a new block cave called E26 Lift 1 North (E26L1N) and the Expansion Project.
Both projects combined will see over $300 million invested in Northparkes over the next couple of years. Construction of the new block cave commenced in January 2019, with full production expected in mid-2022. This project will produce approximately 40Mt of ore over a 10 year period.
The project will deliver 11km of underground development, an underground primary crusher, conveying systems and associated infrastructure. At the peak of construction, the project will employ up to 180 people which will be a mixture of employees and contractors.
The Expansion Project includes a range of upgrades to our underground mining, ore processing and infrastructure facilities to enable an increase in throughput capacity from 6.4Mtpa to 7.6Mtpa. This project will be managed by an owner’s team of Northparkes employees. A further 20 positions will be created to execute the project. During construction, there will be an additional 100 contractors onsite.
This year will be the biggest year in the history of Northparkes in terms of the money we are spending as an operation.
In August, we officially celebrated 25 years of operation. Onsite celebrations were held with Northparkes employees, Northparkes’ owner and operator, China Molybdenum Co., Ltd (CMOC), and Joint Venture partners Sumitomo Mining Metal Oceania and Sumitomo Corporation Mineral Resources – who have been part of the Northparkes Joint Venture since its inception.
Northparkes also celebrated eight of its employees who reached 25 years of service at Northparkes. Congratulations to Ian Cowle, Rob Cunningham, Dave Little, Tony Melhuish, Ian Rowe, Brad Mill, Alan Macdonald and Geoff Tilley. This is an incredible milestone that needed to be recognised – we are extremely grateful to have these people a part of our Northparkes team.
In September, we celebrated the commissioning of the Rosedale Stage 2 tailings storage facility. This facility will be used for the next two years with a capacity of holding 13.6 million tonnes of tailings. A special mention to those involved in delivering this impressive structure.
This year will be the biggest year in the history of Northparkes in terms of the money we are spending as an operation.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support in 2019.
In 2019, we had 13 recordable injuries. These injuries were medically treated and each person has returned to normal duties.
In 2019, we received one community complaint and had two environmental incidents:
This program is unlike any other we have implemented at Northparkes as safety is one element, but it comes together with the other areas to achieve overall success. Throughout the year we held different initiatives and events, as well as visual reminders in fact sheets, signage, leadership, training courses and quarterly awards to reinforce and recognise the importance of our people to our success.
The program will continue throughout 2020 with more initiatives and events to encourage our workforce to SHIFT towards our overall success! Some of the initiatives we have supported included R U OK? Day, World Mental Health Day, Mates in Mining plus more.
In line with the rollout of the SHIFT Program, the Zero Harm Awards were re-branded the SHIFT Awards. This was an exciting opportunity to include more categories into the awards that reflect other attitudes and behaviours that help to improve our safety and culture at Northparkes. Each quarter our employees were given the opportunity to nominate an individual or team for any other categories mentioned above. A big congratulations to our winners and to all our nominees!
Ian Cowle, Wayne Tucker, Jacob Gould and Andrew Slattery
Sandy Phillips, Greg Roberts and Underground D Crew Development
Jonathon Hoye, Luke Byrne, Matt Ross and Brooke Plunkett Fix v identify Brad Mill, Alec Edwards, Gabe Albert and Esther Bruce
Underground D Crew Production, Kai Sadykov and the Northparkes Elvis Committee
All of our winners received a $200 voucher each as further recognition for their efforts.
We regularly sample air quality at key locations on and adjacent to our mine site. The program is designed to determine the effectiveness of control measures and ensure we are compliant with consent and licence conditions. The program comprises a combination of real-time BAMs (Beta Attenuation Monitoring for PM10), high volume air samplers (TSP) and directional and depositional dust gauges.
There were zero dust exceedances recorded during the 2019 period. During 2020, Northparkes will look to employ a number of additional strategies for managing potential air quality impacts, these include:
In addition to these strategies, Northparkes is continuing to review the regional air quality monitoring network to ensure any monitoring locations that are consistently impacted by extraneous sources nearby are removed or relocated. This initiative was discussed at the 2018 Neighbours meetings and Community Consultative Committee meetings, as well as with the Environmental Protection Authority during the 2019 Annual Review meeting.
Operational noise is managed by Northparkes in accordance with the approved Noise Management Plan (NMP). The NMP covers all operational activities with the potential to generate noise at Northparkes. It details specific noise management and mitigation measures, outlines monitoring and reporting requirements and provides clear definition of the roles and responsibilities for noise management. Control measures for the management of noise during construction, operation and decommissioning are essential in minimising noise impacts.
There were zero reportable noise exceedances recorded during the 2019 period.
49% of the water used onsite was recycled in 2019. Its main use was to process crushed ore into copper concentrate.
We manage our water use through an internal infrastructure system aiming to:
There were two environmental incidents in 2019.
Contravention of condition of authorisation EL5801 – drilled twenty (20) drill holes as part of the “EL5801 Program” without obtaining an activity approval under Section 23A of the Mining Act 1992. Northparkes’ investigation found that the application for authorisation was sent to the wrong email address within the Resources Regulator. All sites were inspected by the Resources Regulator and were found to have been rehabilitated to a very high standard.
In April 2019 Northparkes self-reported that slurry material from near the secondary crusher had been placed within the Goonumbla Creek clean water management area. All material was removed, and the site rehabilitated under consultation with a Wiradjuri Elder, an Archaeologist and under the supervision of the Environmental team. Post clean up samples indicated that there were no traces of contamination.
Northparkes received an Official Warning from the Environmental Protection Authority under Section 120 and Section 64 of the Protection of Environment Operations Act, by breaching EPL 4784 condition L1.1.
Northparkes has a process for receiving, investigating, responding and reporting complaints received from community members. 24-hour external telephone lines are in place to allow the public to raise community concerns. These contact numbers are advertised on the Northparkes website.
All complaints received across site are referred to the Community and External Relations Advisor and are then responded to in a professional and timely manner. All complaints are recorded, with the outcomes of investigation findings and corrective actions communicated to the relevant personnel and reported in the Annual Review and the annual Northparkes Report.
During the reporting period, Northparkes received one complaint from a community member. The complaint is related to a Northparkes employee and their driving behaviours on local roads. This is the first complaint related to Northparkes in over two years. The last complaint in 2017 was also related to driving behaviours.
The Walkabout Barber is a mobile barber, trauma and recovery service, design to provide a space for cuts, connections and real conversations to take place.
Brian also delivered a series of talks to our employees across site on self-care and resilience.
Due to the drought conditions in 2018 and 2019, we opted to place our farming operations into long fallow for the 2019 winter cropping season. As a result, a decision was made to pursue a share farming arrangement.
For the next three years, our key priorities are to focus our resources on core business and the execution of the E26L1N Project and the Expansion Project, while still maintaining a farming presence in the community.
2019 also saw the end of the Goodsell Group’s (Goodsell’s) long term association with Northparkes, as their contract concluded in December 2019. Goodsell’s have provided an exceptional service to the Northparkes farming operations since its inception in 1997.
This 23-year partnership has seen the introduction of many new farming techniques to the district. Over the years of the partnership, Goodsell’s helped lead the charge in pioneering zero tillage/controlled traffic farming systems and introducing harvest weed seed management techniques.
Goodsell’s also played a key role in delivering the barely crop planting on TSF1 & 2 in 2016, a project that was recognised by the NSW Minerals Council. Our farming operations has maintained an impeccable safety record thanks to their professional approach and can-do attitude to safety implementation.
Through Goodsell’s and the passion of their long-term employee Brian Allan, they have also played a major hand in the planting of over 200,000 trees across Northparkes’ land holdings. We would like to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge Scott, Janelle and their team and wish them well with their future endeavors.
In early March 2020, an Expression of Interest was distributed requesting a proposal from interested parties. The interested parties were required to submit their proposed farming plan and commercial framework as part of their Expression of Interest. We are currently in the process to identify a suitably skilled and equipped farmer to operate our farming operations.
The committee meets twice a year to update members on business operations and receive community feedback. The committee is made up of mine management and community representatives from Parkes and Forbes. The two meetings were held in May and November.
The WEC meets quarterly to identify opportunities and develop projects which support Wiradjuri people in the community. The WEC is made up of two members from the Wiradjuri Council of Elders, two from Peak Hill Local Aboriginal Land Council and two senior Northparkes employees.
In 2019, the committee focused on developing projects related to employment, education, training, business development and community engagement. Works and initiatives undertaken by the WEC in the reporting period included:
Northparkes hosts formal onsite meetings open to neighbours twice a year and meets with many neighbours individually throughout the year. During 2019, we held a meeting in December to provide an operational update and to catch up and reflect on the year.
Published twice a year and distributed online and via a mail distributional service.
In October, we launched the MATES in Mining Program onsite. Over 300 of our people attended the General Awareness Training and from all reports got A LOT out of it! During the 60 minute sessions people were reminded of how to spot a mate who may be doing it tough. Not to diagnose or fix it - but remain a mate with some additional skills. We saw statistics around suicide and also learnt what we can do about it as a positive call to action. This training was in line with our focus in October on Increased Care and activities for World Mental Health Day. On World Mental Health Day, we stopped at 10.10am along with other organisations around Australia to take 40 seconds to recognise the importance of reducing the stigma around mental health.
R U OK? Day is a reminder to check in with the people at work and at home who might be going through a tough time.
Last year’s theme was Trust the Signs, Trust your Gut and Ask R U Ok?
We held a BBQ breakfast onsite to check in with each other. We also held a special ‘Yellow Bake Off’ morning tea in the Wiradjuri Garden onsite. Our employees were encouraged to either bake something or bring something along to share amongst each other. Congratulations to Deb Jones, Thomas Trott and Ellie Hawkins who were crowned the winners of the bake off.
The 2019 competition took place in Yallourn, where teams competed in a number of challenges demonstrating theoretical and practical mine rescue skills across three days. The team placed first in breathing apparatus, first in theory, first in rope rescue, third in first aid, third in the captain’s assessment and third in search and rescue.
Northparkes Managing Director Hubert Lehman said, “Congratulations to the competition team and the entire group of ERT members who train year-round to ensure they are ready to assist in case of an emergency. We are enormously proud of each and every one of you.”
This year’s competition team included Linda Snyman, the first female captain at Northparkes to lead a team to victory, Jamie Pope, Scott MacKenzie, Ellie Hawkins, Jade Walker, Travis Carte, Wayne Sargent and Matt Flynn.
Another highlight was Travis Carte, Northparkes ERT member, being announced as the overall winner of the theory component.
“We have sent members of our ERT to compete in the competition for the past 24 years and were named the overall winner in 2009, 2014 and 2015. Our consistent success at this competition reflects the hard work of our ERT members to stay at the leading edge of emergency response practices,” said Hubert.
Over 180 people, including family members, employees past and present, local Councillors and community members joined together in Cooke Park for a memorial service to stop and remember the men who lost their lives that day.
Manager Operations Rob Cunningham, who was an Underground Team Leader at the time of the air blast, shared his memories from the day, including a poem dedicated to the four men. “This event is a black day in the history of Northparkes that is never forgotten – this day reshaped the way we approach safety, mine designs and critical control monitoring.”
“I am personally driven every day to prevent the past and be better tomorrow. Please spare a thought for all the family and friends that were impacted by this tragedy. Our thoughts are with you. I am sorry that these four good men never made it back to their families 20 years ago,” said Rob.
Northparkes Managing Director Hubert Lehman said, “To all the families whose lives will never be the same as a result of the air blast we think of you every day. All four men were exceptional people who had so much to offer but never returned home from work that day. We will continue to remember these men every year and share what we learnt from that day to help prevent it from ever happening again.”
The ceremony concluded with family members unveiling a chair dedicated in memory of Ross, Michael, Stuart and Colin. This chair was installed on Bushmans Hill Reserve next to the existing memorial rock. These men will be always remembered - never forgotten.
During 2019, we hosted eight university undergraduate students. We offer a program that enables students to complete their mandatory hours of industry training.
Stacey Kelly, Manager People, Safety and Environment said, “Students are given the opportunity to get involved with events in the local community of Parkes. A key project the students are given during their time at Northparkes is to design and build the Northparkes float for the Parkes Elvis Festival’s Northparkes sponsored street parade.”
The Parkes Elvis Festival is a key event in the calendar year for Parkes, attracting record-breaking crowds of 25,000 people. After successfully completing their programs, the students are equipped with new-found knowledge and skills to take them into the industry they intend to join.
Students are given the opportunity to get involved with events in the local community of Parkes.
In 2019, we produced 6.22 million tonnes of ore from our underground mines and we processed 6.42 million tonnes of ore through our Ore Processing Plant. Our 2019 metal recovery results were 88.4 per cent copper and 76.4 per cent gold.
The process starts underground where we achieved a world-first in 2015; our loaders in our E48 block cave mine became 100 per cent automated. Automation means we have removed people from loaders underground to an air-conditioned control room where they can operate three loaders simultaneously.
Once the ore is removed from underground it is transported by conveyor to our Ore Processing Plant (also known as a concentrator), where we aim to extract copper and gold from the ore. As the composition of our ore is variable, the Operations department works tirelessly throughout the year to ensure we are using the most effective processing methods possible.
Construction of our new block cave – E26L1N started in January 2019 and during 2019 approximately 3,689 metres of new tunnels were developed. This new block cave is scheduled to start full production in 2023.
Caring for our equipment is an important aspect of our Zero Harm Operations philosophy. This is driven by our Asset Management department and supported by everyone at Northparkes.
Our Asset Management department is a crucial element of the Northparkes value chain, colloquially known as the screw holding it all together. Asset Management maintains and manages the plant and equipment used to support each step of the mining process. The team monitors, stabilises and repairs mobile and fixed equipment.
We stop production on a regular basis to perform planned repairs, upgrades and maintenance to our infrastructure and equipment. These shutdowns ensure our mine and mill will continue to operate safely and efficiently for many years to come.
Scheduled maintenance was completed across site, both underground and on the surface, with multiple shutdowns carried out in line with our preventative maintenance program.
Jacques Labuschagne – Finance Director said, “Our value chain must be stable right through to logistics, whereby our copper and gold concentrate is transported by rail and sea to our customers. We were pleased to deliver 122,797 tonnes of concentrate to customers in Japan and China during the year.”
|Underground Mines||6.22 million tonnes|
|Processing plant||6.42 million tonnes|
|Metal recovery results||88.4 per cent copper
|76.4 per cent gold
Hannah Ross, Apprentice Light Vehicle Mechanic has been awarded a Mining Electrical and Mining Mechanical Engineering Society Scholarship. There are only two scholarships awarded to students each year!
The Scholarship supports students who are enrolled or have successfully completed their trade apprenticeship, work within the mining industry in New South Wales and are wanting to pursue a post trade qualification.
In May 2019, NSW Mining held their annual Women in Mining and Industry & Suppliers Awards at NSW Parliament House in Sydney. Brooke Plunkett our Organisational Development Specialist won the Exceptional Young Woman in Mining award.
Brooke joined Northparkes in 2011, after making the move from the Hunter Valley to Parkes to start her career in mining as the Graduate Community & External Relations Advisor. From there, she moved into Human Resources where she worked in recruitment and developing our employee pipeline. Most recently, she was appointed the Organisational Development Specialist onsite.
During her time at Northparkes, Brooke has designed, implemented and managed a number of programs to help better connect our employees and the local community.
Whilst building her career at Northparkes, Brooke has also been an active member of the Northparkes Emergency Response Team for the past seven years. During this time, Brooke has competed in the Victorian Mine Rescue Competition. This well-respected competition has been held for over 27 years and attracts teams from mines across Australia.
“I feel extremely proud to be recognised for the work I have done. I’m really proud of programs like the Northparkes Volunteer Leave Program, the 2015 Open Day and the Make Your Mark Campaign,” she said.
Northparkes Managing Director Hubert Lehman said, “We are extremely lucky to have Brooke a part of the team at Northparkes. It is great to see her hard work and dedication to the mining industry recognised. Congratulations Brooke – we can’t wait to see what you achieve next!”
Brooke added, “There are amazing women doing great things all across the mining industry and I feel really lucky to be recognised, but it’s all the little things we’re doing together that add up to make the biggest impact.”
On Monday 15 April 2019, the recipients of the Northparkes Indigenous Scholarships for 2019 were awarded during a presentation held onsite.
Sophie Cusack from Parkes has been accepted into Charles Sturt University in Bathurst to study a Bachelor of Nursing and Kristi Logan from Peak Hill has been accepted into Charles Sturt University in Dubbo to study a Bachelor of Nursing.
Both Sophie and Kristi will receive $5,000 per year of their study as part of their non-technical scholarship. The recipients also receive a laptop to assist them with their tertiary studies. In addition to financial support the students receive work placements on site at Northparkes and throughout Australia.
“I am extremely grateful to have been awarded this scholarship. Not only has it given me the opportunity to attend university, but it will assist with purchasing text books and support during my work placements,” said Sophie. After completing her degree, Sophie wants to specialise in mental health.
“This is a wonderful opportunity and I hope that I can encourage others to get involved in the future. Once I finish my degree, I am really hoping to go into community health. It is an underutilised and understaffed area,” said Kristi.
Hubert Lehman, Managing Director, Northparkes, said, “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Sophie and Kristi to the scholarship program. We are proud to welcome them to our employee pipeline and we wish them all the best in their studies.”
These scholarships are a result of a signed relationship agreement with our Wiradjuri Executive Committee (WEC) which aims to build sustainable Indigenous communities. The WEC meets quarterly to identify opportunities and develop projects which support Wiradjuri people in the local community. The WEC is made up of two members from the Wiradjuri Council of Elders, two from Peak Hill Local Aboriginal Land Council and two Northparkes employees.
“The scholarship program is vital to Northparkes, both to help Indigenous people further their studies and also to help develop the Northparkes employee pipeline,” said Hubert.
Early last year, our 2018 Indigenous Scholarship holders, Peter Lindsay and Thomas MacRae spent time onsite completing their university work placement during their holidays.
“This scholarship has enabled me to study away from my hometown of Tottenham and support myself whilst at university,” said Peter.
“Working onsite has helped me further understand what I have learnt in my degree by seeing the concepts applied practically at Northparkes,” Thomas said.
At Northparkes, we provide workplace opportunities to assist our scholarship holders with getting a job in their chosen fields.
We are long-time supporters of the Parkes Elvis Festival – a key event in the calendar year for the local community of Parkes. Each January, our employee pipeline, which is made up of graduates, apprentices, scholarship holders and vacation students, are given the opportunity to get involved by designing and building the Northparkes float, for the festival’s Northparkes sponsored street parade.
The Northparkes Mines Street Parade is a major highlight of the Parkes Elvis Festival. Elvis themed floats, vintage and classic cars and motorbikes, led by the Northparkes crew, travel down the main street of Parkes in front of thousands of Elvis fans. Employees and their families are invited to dress up and jump on board the float and join in on the fun.
What better way to showcase the creativity and passion of employees and the region! The Parkes Elvis Festival is one of the many events Northparkes is involved with and reflects the great community spirit in the region, making it a great place to live and work.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the 2019 Lester Plummer Apprentice of the Year Award. The Lester Plummer Apprentice of the Year Award was first introduced in 2016 in honour of our friend and colleague, Lester Plummer, who passed away in 2015.
Lester worked at Northparkes for many years and was always known for his caring and fun-loving nature combined with his trade knowledge and skills.
The recipient of the 2019 Lester Plummer of the Year Award is Alex Warren, our fourth year Electrical Apprentice. Alex was presented the shield by Lester’s wife Kerrie and daughter-in-law Jodie.
Alex is always held in high regard by other tradespeople across the operations. “I am a little bit speechless to be honest – I am extremely proud to have received this prestigious award. During my time at Northparkes, I have been lucky enough to have had a number of mentors who have helped shape my work ethic and attitude,” said Alex.
Alex was recognised for his work ethic and attitude, including his drive to always make improvements and the leadership skills he has shown when mentoring other apprentices onsite. He is always held in high regard by other tradespeople across our operations.
Stacey Kelly Manager People, Safety and Environment said, “Our employee pipeline is the future of our business. By building the skills of young people, we are able to build a community of talented and experienced tradespeople whose skills will benefit both Northparkes and the community in which we live and work.
Joining our innovative and dynamic team puts you alongside industry leaders who encourage your career progression and work life balance. An exciting future is just around the corner with major projects expanding production and extending mine life. Working at Northparkes offers unique opportunities to achieve more, live more and make your mark.”
We asked the class of 1993 a few questions about their time at Northparkes, here’s what some of them had to say.
“I have been lucky to work with many great people and teams over the years. What makes Northparkes special is the way people interact with each other, the way we are also part of the local and wider communities.”
“It’s the friendships you develop with others. There are a lot of good people at Northparkes and they make the job enjoyable.”
“I think it would have to be the people I have worked closely with over the years. I also get job satisfaction out of fixing and identifying issues and I also have had the opportunity to pass on my experience and learnings to others.”
We have extensive cropping operations in the Parkes and Forbes Shires, and employ a dedicated agronomist to oversee our farms. We use best practice conservation farming techniques aimed at improving soil quality and productivity to retain and improve the property’s agricultural value.
We are proud to call some of our employees miners and farmers. People who have a passion for the land, but are able to take a bit of pressure off during the hardest times financially.
Meet Tim Bell, our Processing and Tailings Specialist. In addition to working at Northparkes full time, Tim runs a cropping and sheep farm 50km from site. “Mining 100% supports my farming business, especially during times of drought,” said Tim. This is another great example of how mining supports our farmers in rural and regional communities right across New South Wales.
“Mining 100% supports my farming business, especially during times of drought,” said Tim. This is another great example of how mining supports our farmers in rural and regional communities right across New South Wales."
James Chandler, a true farmer from Louth New South Wales, joined Northparkes in 2019 as an Ore Processing Technician. James’ family owned a property in Louth where he worked raising sheep and goats on a sprawling acreage. Due to the terrible drought conditions they were facing, James took the opportunity to move to Parkes and start a new career at Northparkes.
“Being able to go to work rain, hail or shine was really good, that’s what I was looking for in a job and the mining industry gives me all of that.”
“Working at Northparkes has been life changing,” said James. It really touches our hearts that Northparkes was able to make such a difference to James’ life.
“Northparkes is like a second family to me – everyone is just so accepting of one another. I am really grateful for the amazing people I’ve met and the opportunities I have had during my 20 years at Northparkes,” said Nat.
“Northparkes is like a second family to me – everyone is just so accepting of one another.”
When we asked each of these employees about why they have stayed at Northparkes for so many years, they all had the same response – the people and the opportunities. We are extremely lucky to have had these people a part of our team for so many years. We look forward to working with each of you for years to come!
For over two decades, Northparkes has helped with the growth of the Parkes and Forbes Shires. Not only has it delivered hundreds of jobs, it has also contributed significant economic strength to the local economy. Over the last 25 years, thousands of Northparkes employees have called the region home and have become an integral part of the local community.
“The support and encouragement of our community, in particular both Parkes and Forbes Shire Councils, has been instrumental in our success. We are extremely proud of the positive and supportive relationships that have been built over the years. I would like to formally extend my thanks to both the local communities of Parkes and Forbes for their continued support over the past 25 years,” said Mr Lehman.
Through an array of funding programs and partnerships, Northparkes has been able to deliver improved outcomes that have made a lasting difference to the communities of Parkes and Forbes.
“The people are what makes Northparkes the place it is today. I have always been incredibly impressed with the passion and the drive of the people who come to work here each and every day. To all the people who work here today and to those that have come and gone, each and every one of you have played an integral part in what we’re celebrating.”
“We know the exploration potential of Northparkes and we believe we will discover more copper and gold deposits to take us even further into the future. Northparkes is the world’s most automated underground block cave mine and we are proud of our history and achievements. We will continue to focus on our commitment towards our local communities as we strive towards achieving our vision of a century of mining together,” Mr Lehman added.
“The people are what makes Northparkes the place it is today. I have always been incredibly impressed with the passion and the drive of the people who come to work here each and every day.”
|$38.5 million||Salaries and wages|
|$32.4 million||Suppliers of goods and services|
|$0.5 million||Sponsorships and donations|
|$1.5 million||Local Government payments|
|$40.1 million||Salaries and wages|
|$29.8 million||Suppliers of goods and services|
|$0.5 million||Sponsorships and donations|
|$1.8 million||Local Government payments|
|$42.7 million||Salaries and wages|
|$31.3 million||Suppliers of goods and services|
|$0.4 million||Sponsorships and donations|
|$2.7 million||Local Government payments|
|$38.3 million||Salaries and wages|
|$37.4 million||Suppliers of goods and services|
|$0.3 million||Sponsorships and donations|
|$3.1 million||Local Government payments|
|$39.2 million||Salaries and wages|
|$49.8 million||Suppliers of goods and services|
|$0.1 million||Sponsorships and donations|
|$1.5 million||Local Government payments|
In 2019, we continued to actively explore the full extent of our exploration lease. We started looking at open pit mining operations with drilling programs at E44, E31 and E28. This work included the collection of geological and grade information for the creation of block models. These studies will continue into 2021 and 2022.
A drilling program was undertaken at E22, to supplement geological information on the proposed underground mine beneath the E22 pit. This will be studied in a prefeasibility project during 2020 to determine the best mining method and approach to mine this area.
We work hard to ensure our drilling programs don’t negatively impact our neighbours or the environment. For example, we often halt drilling operations after rain events to minimise vehicle impacts to farmers tracks and paddocks.
One positive that did arise from the sowing operation was that the process of sowing provided newly ripped lines across the surface which actively minimised dust lift-off.
In 2019, construction of Stage 2 of the Rosedale Tailings Storage Facility was completed, adding a projected 13.8Mt of storage capacity. Construction of the facility also included the completion of topsoil and subsoil removal in the basin in accordance with the Mining Operation Plan (MOP) prior to commencement of deposition.
Dust mitigation measures were enacted throughout the construction program, including the ripping of approximately 100ha of desiccated tailings surface in the Rosedale TSF impoundment to reduce surface wind velocities and dust uplift. A special mention to those involved in delivering this impressive structure.
In early 2019, we announced the final approval of a new block cave mine at Northparkes called E26 Lift 1 North (E26L1N). The investment will be more than $200 million over a three-and-half year period, with full production expected in mid-2022. This project will produce approximately 40Mt of ore over a 10 year period. Executive Chairman and CEO, CMOC Group, Steele Li said, “We are really excited to see this project come to fruition and to watch Northparkes continue to develop and grow. Northparkes plays a pivotal role in our strong and long-term presence in Australia as an internationally renowned mining company.” The project will deliver 11kilometres of underground development, an underground primary crusher, conveying systems and associated infrastructure. At the peak of construction, the project will employ up to 180 people which will be a mixture of employees and contractors. This project is covered by the current project approvals, licences and permits. An upgrade to the ventilation system is currently being developed which will provide the new E26L1N mine with sufficient air flow to support development and production activities. The E26L1N operation will be designed to utilise an increased level of automation and digitisation, helping to deliver a safer and more productive mine.
“Following the announcement of our next block cave mine – E26 Lift 1 North, this is another major investment in the future of our business. This demonstrates CMOC’s confidence in the sustainability and longevity of our operations, enabling us to achieve our vision of ‘A century of mining together’.”
“We know the exploration potential of Northparkes and we believe we will discover more copper and gold deposits to take us even further into the future. Northparkes is the world’s most automated underground block cave mine and we are proud of our history and achievements. The mine has been operating for 25 years and we have a vision of a century of mining together, here in New South Wales’ Central West,” Mr Lehman added.
Following the announcement of the new block cave at Northparkes, we received final approval of an Expansion Project. The investment will be $72 million spread over two years. The engineering work commenced immediately, with the main construction activities having commenced in Q3 of 2019. The full benefits of the project are expected to be realised in late 2020.
The Expansion Project includes a range of upgrades to our underground mining, ore processing and infrastructure facilities to enable an increase in throughput capacity from 6.4Mtpa to 7.6Mtpa.
The Expansion Project will be managed by an owner’s team of Northparkes employees. A further 20 positions will be created to execute the project. During construction, there will be an additional 100 contractors onsite.
“As we are executing these major capital projects, our Zero Harm approach to every aspect of our operations will be at the forefront of our minds. We will continue to care for our people, our equipment, our environment and the community in which we live and work for years to come. We believe this approach is why we have been successful for over two decades, and it sets us up for decades to come,” said Mr Lehman.
The project commenced in April 2019, with construction commencing in quarter three 2019.
Completion expected in quarter four of 2020.
The project will enable us to increase our throughput capacity from 6.4 million tonnes per annum to 7.6 million tonnes per annum. The project includes a range of upgrades to our underground mining, Ore processing and infrastructure facilities.
20 new positions have been created to execute the project. During the construction there will an additional 100 contractors onsite.
Construction commenced in January 2019.
Full production expected in 2020.
The project will deliver 11 kilometres of underground development, an underground primary crusher, conveying systems and associated infrastructure.
This new block cave will produce approximately 40 million tonnes of ore over a 10 year period.
At the peak of construction the project will employ 180 people.
E26 Lift 1 North is managed by a team of Northparkes employees, so the benefits have stayed within the local community.
“We are really excited to see this project come to fruition and to watch Northparkes continue to develop and grow. Northparkes plays a pivotal role in our strong and long-term presence in Australia as an internationally renowned mining company.”
A Project Team was formed to ensure the new system reflects the business needs and builds on the existing SharePoint technology. The benefits and objectives of the new DCS include:
Congratulations to Orica, who took out the Austmine METS Innovation Award for their WebGen™ 100 system in early 2019. Rob Cunningham, Manager Operations and Sergio Melloni, Development Superintendent attended the awards in Brisbane.
At Northparkes, we are committed to continuous improvement. We are using this system to achieve improvements in sustainability, mining cost reductions and increased productivity, while relentlessly managing the safety of our people.
The use of infrared trial cameras during 2019 confirmed the presence of a range of feral animals. Revegetation works are planned this year to regenerate open areas into a woodland ecosystem. In addition, due to prolonged drought in Australia, to ensure water is available for the native wildlife onsite, a tank and trough system was installed in December 2019.
The trial camera set up at the trough has shown that the local native animals have appreciated the availability of water. This has also reduced the need for animals to search for water in operational areas. Our biodiversity monitoring has been carried out for a number of years. The 2019 results showed that the species richness has improved even with the drought conditions.
Since 2015, Northparkes has engaged in a range of projects on the existing TSFs to reduce potential dust lift-off. Direct seeding has proven to be a successful mitigation strategy to reduce dust lift-off through vegetation cover on the existing TSFs.
The establishment of vegetation directly into tailings has not only proven to be an effective dust control strategy, but has proven vegetation establishment directly within the saline tailings surface is possible.
As TSF1 is currently receiving central discharge tailings to create a closure landform, the direct vegetation seeding was limited to TSF2 in 2019. During May 2019, the tailings beach of TSF2 was sown to barley. Due to prolonged drought conditions in 2019, there was limited barley growth. However, the bluebush and saltbush species continued to provide groundcover throughout the ongoing drought.
The ongoing success of these vegetation species directly in the TSF2 tailings has initiated a study into the potential long-term rehabilitation outcomes. The study will be initiated in 2020 and is planned to be carried out over several years to ensure vegetation performance is also measured in non-drought periods. The study will assess the benefits and risks of direct revegetation into tailings profiles at Northparkes.
Late last year, the Mobile Equipment Maintenance (MEM) contracts for Sandvik and Whittakers expired. Prior to this expiration date a review of the current Mobile Equipment Maintenance Contractor Management was undertaken.
Northparkes made the decision to insource the mobile maintenance services. This involved the transition of those contractor positions to Northparkes full-time equivalent (FTE) and fixed term contract (FTC) positions to provide long-term security for all our people.
The insourcing of MEM reflects our one team value – this will enable us to proudly work together as one team towards our shared purpose. We are extremely appreciative of the relationships we have built with both Sandvik and Whittakers over the years and we will remain focused on building upon these relationships. Going forward, we will continue to utilise the services of Sandvik and Whittakers.
In 2019, we supported key local events such as the:
Through the skills our workforce brings to the Central West, we can provide assistance to businesses and organisations they may not otherwise have access to.
For more information, please visit our website at www.northparkes.com or contact our Community and External Relations Advisor on 02 6861 3621.
We support initiatives which contribute to the Parkes and Forbes local government areas in the following categories: economic development, culture and recreation, education and youth, environment and health.
In 2019, the following applicants were successful:
We are committed to the health and wellbeing of our people, as well as the community in which we live and work. One of the ways we show our support is through the Sports Grants Program in association with Parkes Shire Council, which is now in its seventh year. We recognise how vital sport is to our local community; supporting the Sports Grants Program is one way we can contribute to some of the teams and clubs which do such a great job helping to keep Parkes Shire healthy and happy.
In total $77,169.08 in grants were distributed throughout 2019. The joint funding agreement between Northparkes and Parkes Shire Council will distribute $170,000 in sports related funding over three years.
This year’s successful applicants were:
We understand the importance of investing in our local community through meaningful partnerships. In addition to the Northparkes Community Investment and Sports Grants Programs, we have committed to a number of long-term community partnerships, including:
$80,000 – Parkes Grants Officer and Aboriginal Project Officer
$16,500 – Parkes Elvis Festival
$11,150 – Life Education
On 22 November 2019, a group of employees headed to Forbes for the White Ribbon Day March hosted by the Forbes Domestic and Family Violence Committee. Following the march, formalities were held in Lions Park, where Richard Plowes Manager - E26L1N spoke about the importance of White Ribbon to Northparkes.
Another group of employees headed to Parkes the following week to join the Parkes Domestic and Family Violence Committee for the Parkes White Ribbon March. Michelle Wetherell Superintendent Human Resources, Training and Organisational Development led the formalities in Cooke Park as the MC.
A special thanks to the Forbes and Parkes Domestic and Family Violence Committees. You have been valued strategic partners since our accreditation and we look forward to a long relationship in delivering programs to break the cycle of domestic and family violence in our community.
“When we found out we were about to become a family, we knew that our financial situation was about to change with my wife being self-employed. This opportunity enabled my wife to go back to work and I was able to stay home and look after our son,” said Dan.
When Dan started his paid parental leave in December 2019, Walter was just under eight months old. “He was barely rolling over when I first started, now he’s crawling everywhere and pulling himself up on things. I have loved getting to watch my son grow and develop every day. There were so many major milestones I was able to witness.
“Our family has benefited so much from this entitlement. Financially we’ve had the opportunity to maintain both our incomes and we have been able to comfortably establish what our new norm looks like as a family of three,” added Dan.
Dan returned to work in April 2020 . “I really enjoy my job at Northparkes, so I was looking forward to getting back to work,” said Dan. Working at Northparkes offers unique opportunities to achieve more, live more and make your mark.
Meet Michelle from the Training team who works within the People, Safety and Environment department.
Michelle joined Northparkes in 2014 as a Laboratory Technician in the Ore Processing Department. After accepting a secondment with the Training team, Michelle was offered a permanent position as Surface Training Advisor.
We asked Michelle how she contributes to creating a more balanced workplace. “I believe I have created Balance for Better in the workplace through being an advocate for female employees. I have also focused my time on supporting other females who work in male-dominated teams,” said Michelle.
Meet Sarah Webster, Life of Mine Planning and Studies Leader of the LOMEX & Technical Services department. Sarah first started with Northparkes in 2011 as Senior Geotechnical Engineer.
We asked Sarah to name a female who inspires her. “Bec Goddard who coached the Adelaide Crows Football Club in the AFL Women’s (AFLW) competition. She was tasked with coaching the Crows, however they trained in separate locations in Darwin and Adelaide. Not only did she successfully pull this off using Skype and video calls, she coached the team to win the first AFLW grand final in 2017,” said Sarah.
“I strive to make a difference for women everywhere by challenging gender bias, including my own, particularly in the workplace. I am also a big advocate for flexible work arrangements. By offering flexibility, we open up the candidate pool to people with young families,” she said.
Meet Christina Rees, Business Analyst within the Financial Management department. Since commencing with Northparkes in 2014, Christina has held a number of roles within the Financial Management department.
We asked Christina why flexibility in the workplace is important to her. “Flexibility allows me to achieve my personal career goals and work commitments and spend time with my family. It makes working and having a family possible!”
“When it comes to contributing to helping women everywhere, I think it’s important to be honest with the challenges we face. Some days it’s hard being a working mum and feeling pressured and pulled from different directions, but I believe if we’re honest with each other, we can support each other and learn from our experiences,” she said.
Meet Michelle Wetherell, Superintendent Human Resources, Training and Organisational Development in the People, Safety & Environment department. Michelle joined Northparkes in 2013 as Senior Human Resources Advisor.
Michelle was asked how she makes a positive difference for women everywhere. “You need to start small but think big. Challenge family members, friends and colleagues on discriminating ideologies of the past and how we can work together to create equality at work for future generations.”
In relation to flexibility in the workplace, Michelle is a strong advocate. “It allows me to have energy both in the workplace for my team and at home for my family and friends. I am fortunate enough to have a leader that supports that way I manage my work hours. I am far more productive, so I think it’s a win-win,” said Michelle.
“Flexibility allows me to achieve my personal career goals and work commitments and spend time with my family. It makes working and having a family possible!”
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