Fueling Yuendumu’s Economy through Diesel Mechanics Training

Mining companies can serve as powerful agents for transferring knowledge, skills and technology to developing countries and remote regions. At Newmont, we share these and other benefits of our operations with local communities in hopes of contributing to both the strength and sustainability of their economies. From skills development in the mining industry to training in non-mining related fields, the human capacity-building programs we support in our areas of operation are designed to enhance earning potential now and sustain it long after our operations cease.

At Newmont’s Tanami, Australia, operations, our diesel mechanics training workshop is creating income-generating opportunities for indigenous youth from the Yuendumu community. Located on the edge of the Tanami Desert, Yuendumu is somewhat isolated — accessible only by four-wheel drive — yet it is one of the largest aboriginal communities in central Australia and populated primarily by the Warlpiri people. It’s also home to the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation (WYDAC), a youth program run by tribal elders that provides opportunities for young people to make healthy life choices, pursue meaningful pathways and develop leadership skills.

Heavy equipment maintenance shop at Tanami gold mine.

Offered through WYDAC and funded by Newmont, the diesel mechanics training workshop not only gives young men a chance to gain employment and earning power but also an opportunity to contribute to the Yuendumu community. The practical learning experiences offered through the program include servicing and repairing diesel engines owned and operated by community members. After completing their training and apprenticeship, trainees seek employment in Yuendumu or at Newmont’s Tanami operations. In 2013, the program provided employment to six young Warlpiri men, three of whom are now salaried employees with WYDAC.

Local government agencies also benefit from the training program. Diesel service and repairs provided by apprentice mechanics to the Central Desert Shire Council ensure that the Council can meet a variety of public needs including infrastructure, health, environment and civic services.

Guided by a framework we developed in 2011, Tanami and other Australia mines operated by Newmont support initiatives that ensure our presence and activities respect the rights of indigenous people and benefit their communities. Through partnerships such as these, we work collaboratively with Australia’s federal and local governments, as well as traditional landowners, to address economic, cultural, social, and heritage preservation needs among indigenous people. In doing so, we hope to contribute to a higher quality of life for today and future generations.


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