Northern Star Resources have again gone to great lengths to help the local TAFE give their diesel mechanic apprentices the best chance of learning on some of the latest technology. The latest initiative from Northern Star Resources comes after last year donating a R2900G loader to kick-start the Mining Legends Charity Project, and separately to the TAFE a $250,000 Maintenance Technique custom designed drill training module. They also supplied training packages to the TAFE lecturers before the module’s installation.
This time they have donated a Sandvik TH551 truck with the latest in technology to help students learn best practice. The truck, in its condition, is valued at approximately $200,000 so the size of the donation is considerable.
“Donating the machine was an easy decision,” Group Maintenance Manager for Northern Star Resources, Aaron Armstrong, said. “In the long term we will see the benefits as better qualified apprentices come out of our local TAFE system.”
Realising that the full-size truck would take up too much space on the TAFE campus, Regal Engineering were commissioned to cut the truck down while all the time maintaining the integrity of the operating systems. Regal were also required to manufacture skids to secure the machine to so that it could be moved, when required, in a simple way.
Daren Royle from Regal Engineering was equally enthusiastic. “When Aaron first approached the company about this, I could immediately see the benefits for the students and what it would mean to be learning on a machine that had contemporary technology,” he said. “The decision to be involved didn’t need much thought.”
At the time of publication, the machine is being readied for painting.
On hearing of the project, Sandvik, the manufacturer of the truck, donated the paint to return the truck to its original glory. They also provided labour for part of the refurbishment and did cabin modifications to ensure it was up to date. Of course, a business is required to do the painting and Force Equipment was quick to volunteer their Paint & Blast services.
Force Equipment Branch Manager, Jonothan Dark looks forward to their involvement. “When talking to Aaron about this, his passion was contagious as was his logic. It was an easy decision to make and Force Equipment are happy to be able to help apprentices increase their knowledge in this industry.”
However, before it can be painted it needs a thorough cleaning and Michael Worthington from Worthy Parts has allowed his new wash-pad to be used
“It didn’t take much persuasion for me to get involved in this project. I wish I had something like this to work on when I was going through TAFE,” Michael Worthington said. “Northern Star are setting a leading example to the mining industry, and the rest of the community. Thanks also to Brendon Penn Crane Hire that will be getting it to and from our yard for the wash down.”
Central Regional TAFE Director of Training – Kalgoorlie, Chelsie Grace said the donation will provide additional training opportunities for students and really enhance the current training programs offered at TAFE across a number of areas.
“Practical training on equipment they can expect to work on when in the industry provides both pre-apprenticeship students and current apprentices with a huge advantage and invaluable experience” she said.
“The generosity of our local industry is one-of-a kind and this donation will really go a long way into better preparing our students for the workforce” she said.
“We really appreciate of all of the hard work that has gone into making this significant donation possible and for the further efforts in having it ready for us to start training students on” Mrs Grace said.
Once again goldfields’ mining companies and businesses have shown their generosity when it comes to practical and meaningful help.