Innovative research project aims to make Victorian mines safer


Photo: SafetyCulture Library

Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio has today launched a $2.2 million ‘Batter Stability project’ at Energy Australia’s Yallourn Mine in Gippsland. This new project aims to make open-cut mining safer for Victorian workers and the community.

Researchers from the Federation University will conduct the five-year project at the Yallourn mine site through the technical support from the Victorian mining regulator, Earth Resources Regulation. The project will involve geotechnical and hydrogeological studies if mine batters, which are the sloping pit walls between the top of the mine and the pit floor.

Interaction of surface and ground water levels, as well as excavation work and structure and strength of soils and rocks, can make these slopes unstable. A slope could collapse or create a sink hole risking the safety of workers.

“This important research will help make open pit mines safer and more sustainable for local mine workers and communities in the Latrobe Valley,” said Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing.

“We have an amazing wealth of local knowledge and technical skill right there in the Valley that will feed into this important mine safety project.”

Field work will commence immediately, with the project due to be finished by June 2020.

“The findings from this research project will be used to make open cut mining in Victoria safer for workers and the community,” said Ms. D’Ambrosio.

“This partnership between the Andrews Labor Government, Federation University, and Energy Australia is a great example of how we can work together to make mining operations in Victoria among the safest and most sustainable in the world.”

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