An annual 2-hour mine tour offered at Evolution Mining’s Mount Rawdon operation in Queensland could become a twice-yearly attraction, providing the local community, tourists and students the opportunity to see first-hand the inner workings of a gold mine, meet the diverse team and explore the many opportunities within the gold industry.
Over Friday 22 and Saturday 23 February, the Mount Rawdon mine tours attracted residents from the Mount Perry community, regional visitors from Gayndah, Biggendon and Bundaberg, and sixteen Biggendon PCYC SES cadets, who had previously participated in the site’s mines rescue training but were this time given the opportunity to meet Emergency Response team members and be shown some of their equipment.
Speaking to the Central and North Burnett Times, Evolution Mining’s Mount Rawdon Operation General Manager Jamie Coad said by increasing their annual tour of the Mount Rawdon gold mine to twice-yearly it could help to demystify the sector.
Jamie realised the profound impact the informative sessions could have after observing visitors experience the process for the first time.
"The more kids we get on the tour the more likely they will want to get involved in mining. If we get two or three interested in being a miner, then that's a good thing,” said Mr Coad.
To join the tour, participants had to be over five years of age and wear closed-in shoes, long sleeves and long pants. The tour departed Mount Perry following an induction and blood alcohol breath tests, on a 20-minute bus trip to the mine site. Upon arrival, guests were treated to a morning tea whilst being provided with some information on the history of the mine site and its current operations via a digital presentation.
They were then escorted to the lookout point, where children particularly enjoyed watching the plant in action as trucks, diggers and other mining equipment moved around the pit; before being driven back down to the mill area where some of the Mount Rawdon team could answer further questions on the process.
Participants reported they thoroughly enjoy the experience, with a steady increase in the number of visitors outside the Mount Perry community joining the tours.
“It’s great to see some of our local residents joining the tour regularly to see how the mine is progressing and how it may have changed since their last visit,” said Evolution Mining’s Mount Rawdon Operation Community Relations Officer Anita Ward.
Visitors expressed their delight at the passion of the Mount Rawdon team who shared their career journeys and pathways into the industry, whilst explaining the mining and extraction processes.
Residents and council representatives were also invited along to an annual information evening on Friday 22 February at the Mount Perry community hall, to discuss the mine’s production and showcase its community initiatives.