Written by subcommittee member Kathi Miller, Senior Tenement Geologist, Norton Gold Fields Ltd
On the last Saturday in April, the children from Goldfields Individual and Family Support Association's (GIFSA) Saturday Morning Club visited Norton Gold Fields' Janet Ivy Gold Mine located on the outskirts of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia.
The children were transported by bus to an area of the mine where work was starting from surface to strip the waste rock from the buried gold orebody. The children enjoyed live views of an excavator loading a dump truck. They looked into the open pit to see the drill rigs boring holes into the floor to prepare for rock blasting. Then it was over to the waste dump to watch a truck unloading, and a loader and grader working together to clean up the working space.
The children were very interested, friendly and excited on the bus trip, according to Wayne Astill, Norton’s Environmental, Community & Security Superintendent who co-ordinated the tour. The children asked many questions about the mining operation, such as how gold got in the ground, what gold is worth, how much a dump truck costs, and how long it takes to become a truck driver.
“The trip was great fun. It’s fantastic to be able to share our knowledge and have enthusiastic employees prepared to take time out of their work to talk about their jobs to young people in our community," said Mr Astill.
After morning tea the tour continued to the Paddington run of mine (ROM) pad, the place where the road trains unload the gold ore for processing at the nearby mill.
“The children and their carers had a wonderful time and returned to Kalgoorlie-Boulder very excited at what they had seen and learnt. For some of the children, this was a new experience for them and opened their eyes to the world of mining, a world they would have otherwise not experienced nor appreciated", said Robert Hicks, Chief Executive Officer, GIFSA.
GIFSA is a specialised provider of a range of services for people with disabilities in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. Norton Gold Fields Ltd sponsors GIFSA’s Saturday Morning Club. The club aims to give parents and disability carers of school aged children some respite time, while the children have the opportunity to enjoy sporting and recreational activities in the community.
The Janet Ivy Open Pit was re-opened in April 2017 after a successful drilling campaign throughout 2016. The evaluation of the drilling results led to a gold resource update. The result was an extra 1.5 million tonnes of ore became available for open pit mining. During the next year, mining is expected to extend the pit toward the north and south.
“We had a satisfying result from our drilling program and there’s more potential to explore. Janet Ivy has been a good support to provide ore when we need it," said Peter Ruzicka, Norton Gold Fields General Manager of Geology.
Norton Gold Fields Limited is a member of the Gold Industry Group and one of Australia’s largest domestic gold producers, with annual production of more than 178,000 ounces. The Paddington Operations is located 35 km north of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.