OZ Minerals: a mining company that’s committed to community

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Respect features prominently in the values of Australian-based mining company OZ Minerals: respect for safety, for individuals, for communities, cultures and diversity, for stakeholders and for the environment.

Through the company's principal sponsorship of Mining Family Matters, OZ Minerals has also demonstrated its respect for the families behind its operations at sites including the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia.

Prominent Hill has a workforce of employees and contractors of approximately 800 people. With an active exploration program at locations including Prominent Hill, Cambodia, Chile, Mexico and Cobar in NSW, OZ Minerals is committed to supporting its workforce and providing major benefits for local communities. 

One initiative that achieves this is the OZ Minerals Pre-Employment Training Program, a scheme which enables local indigenous and non-indigenous people to gain an understanding of mining and provides them with skillnulls for a role in the industry.

A total of 51 local and indigenous graduates have now graduated through the program and received their qualifications (Certificate 1, Resources and Infrastructure – Operations; and Certificate 2, Metaliferous Mining and Operations – Open Cut).

Forty are still working at Prominent Hill, including eight members of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands community in northern SA who graduated in late 2010 and moved into trainee roles including mine geology pit technician, exploration technician, processing technician, health and safety officer and administration officer.

"What has been special about this particular program is that we have been able to offer full-time roles to people in communities that have had limited employment opportunities," says OZ Minerals CEO Terry Burgess. "In fact to our knowledge, no mining company has ever offered a training program in the APY Lands with guaranteed employment outcomes.

"It has always been our aim to employ as many local people as possible. As well being one of the best ways to share benefits with the community it makes business sense as local people are likely to stay in the workforce for longer."

Other programs demonstrating the company’s commitment to families and communities include:

  • Annual family days at the Prominent Hill mine site (pictured above right) aimed at providing family members with a better understanding of site life, conditions and the environment. Activities include a tour of the processing plant and pit as well as the opportunity to use facilities such as the Prominent Hill village swimming pool.
  • Fortnightly visits by a reverend to the Prominent Hill village, to talk with miners about any issues weighing on their minds. The reverend is also available by phone to chat with miners’ wives and partners.

In 2010 the OZ Minerals Pre-Employment Training Program involved collaboration with the TAFE Aboriginal Access Centre in Port Augusta, APY TAFE, Complete Personnel and Bungala Aboriginal Corporation. The program won a Training Initiative Award at the 2010 SA Government Training Awards, the peak state awards recognising innovation and excellence in the training sector.

For more information about employment opportunities and news at OZ Minerals, visit www.ozminerals.com 

Other great company initiatives:

Australian families often tell us what they really want (from mining companies). If you know of a great company initiative - either for employees or the local community - please tell us about it.