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Waihi Operation Brings Mining to the Classroom

Many students learn about historical mining in their studies, but how many have the chance to actually see a modern-day gold mining operation? Technology has changed the face of the industry—from the way that we keep employees safe to the way that we communicate with our stakeholders. Today, Newmont is using a number of unique modern-day technologies to bring mining operations to life for students.

Newmont-Waihi-Education-Officer-Talks-with-Students-about-Gold-Mining
Newmont Waihi education officer talks with students about gold mining.

In recent years, “quick response” or QR codes have made their way into ads, product labels and even in classrooms. Using a smartphone, one can scan the code and instantly receive a variety of information, including images, videos and promotional campaigns.

At Newmont’s Waihi operation in New Zealand, QR Codes are posted around the Pit Rim Walkway at the Martha open pit mine. Students and visitors scan them to access audio and video tracks about the mine, uses of gold and silver, exploration and local mining history. QRs are also used in the mine’s Education Centre for students to find and record information related to mining.

Students-learn-about-Newmont-gold-mining-at-Waihi
Students learn about Newmont gold mining at Waihi.

QRs are just one bit of technology that our mine staff is using to educate people about how Newmont operates. To expand educational programming about mining across New Zealand, Education Officer Phil Salmon began teaching lessons via Skype, a free online videoconferencing tool.

Skype allows students to take a virtual field trip and learn about modern mining at Newmont when it is not possible for them to visit the site. It enables us to put a geologist, metallurgist or environmental specialist in front of a class anywhere in the country. Students’ can ask these experts questions, bringing learning to life.

This virtual classroom is opening up a whole new outreach opportunity. On average, more than 5,000 students visit the mine each year and we hope to reach thousands more with online teaching.

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