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Mine Families Visit Waihi on Open Day

Newmont Waihi Gold held a Staff, Contractors and Families Open Day in early March which saw more than 850 people visit a range of areas at our New Zealand operation, including the Martha open pit, the underground portal and the Baxter Road processing plant.

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Waihi hosted family members at Open Day.

Open Day Coordinator Kit Wilson said that the day was all about reinforcing safety.

“We are very proud of our safety record, but we know that it only takes one moment’s inattention or a small lapse in judgment for an accident to occur,” noted Wilson.

We know that safety isn’t just about individuals; it’s about teams and family. The Vital Behaviors safety program, which we have been rolling out across the company as a part of Newmont’s Safety Journey, encourages all staff to speak up and contribute. One of the suggestions which came out of these discussions was that it would be good for family to see what happens on site so they could understand Mum or Dad’s job.

Wilson explains, “The strong feeling was that if we could share our jobs with loved ones, they too become part of each person’s Safety Journey, and they understand if we come home at the end of a night shift and need them to be quiet so we can sleep.”

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Family members place handprints on a tank to remind everyone about safety.

During the day, visitors were able to visit the open pit, tour the process plant, and take a minibus tour of the tailings impoundment area. The most popular attraction was the underground portal. Visitors were able to walk 200 meters down the Favona decline and get a real understanding of what it is like underground. No mining operations occurred during the event, which provided the opportunity for one lucky couple to have their wedding ceremony take place underground.

In addition to the helium balloons, face painting, bouncy castles and free food, one activity in particular kept children very busy on the day: Environmental staff had set up a sound monitoring station to measure the ‘loudest scream’. On this day, the highest level measured was 128 decibels. For staff more used to measuring the site compliance limit of 50 decibels that came as quite a surprise, with one employee suggesting that his work ear muffs might be equally useful at home.

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