27 February 2015

Alex is engineering a brighter future

Alex Lane has recently completed a 10 week stint at our Tarrawonga mine as part of a cadetship program prior to returning to University.

Here Alex tells us about his experience with Whitehaven.

“I was successful in gaining the cadetship for mining engineering in 2013 while starting my mining engineering degree at the University of Wollongong” he explains.

“The Whitehaven cadetship is an extremely valuable program. As a local from the Liverpool Plains, it provides me with practical experience close to home. Moreover, the cadetship also provides financial support whilst studying at the university. During the semester breaks I had the opportunity to gain practical experience at two of the mine sites.

“In July 2014, I worked at the Werris Creek mine which gave me an introduction to the challenges and opportunities that the mining business can provide. Some of the challenges that I faced at Werris Creek include working both in the pit and on the coal stockpiles, working around old underground workings, working close to local towns and communities, dealing with large amounts of ‘in pit water’, working with ‘hot holes’ and working around gas infused areas. I believe having the opportunity to see and participate in dealing with these challenges is going to allow me to become a better engineer in the future.

“At the end of my first year of studies in late 2014, I got the privilege to work at the Tarrawonga mine site for 10 weeks. This has provided me with invaluable hands on experience including; learning to drive a dump truck, working on night shifts with the OCE, working with the exploration and blast crews. I had the chance to sharpen my skills by learning to use a mine planning software; 3D-Dig and then applied it on a real case to plan excavation sequences. During my time at Tarrawonga I also witnessed how market conditions can influence the short term mine plan, and how Tarrawonga stayed solid as a team to overcome all the challenges. At the end of the vacation work, I gave a presentation to the staff about my progress.

“Moving forward into the future, I’m looking forward to fulfilling my cadetship and aim to gain further experience at other Whitehaven mine sites, such as Narrabri and Maules Creek.”

Ekin Eraydin, Senior Production Engineer at Tarrawonga, added: “It has been a great pleasure to work with Alex in the last 10 weeks. He has shown great interest and attitude in all tasks and all parties he has worked with. He has gained hands on experience and also completed three mine planning projects. Alex is putting 110% into becoming a mining engineer professional and we wish him all the best for his future.”


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