Cannington Tour 1

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An exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of South32’s Cannington Mine has this week inspired Cloncurry’s next generation to pursue rewarding careers in the resources and energy sector, thanks to support from the mine and facilitated by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).

For the first time, students in Years 10 to 12 from Cloncurry State School P-12 got up close and made personal connections with one of the world’s largest producers of silver and lead, under South32’s valued partnership with the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said this was a great opportunity for students to witness the inner workings of an operational mine, while also gaining valuable insight into the world of minerals and mining.

“During their visit, students had the unique opportunity to engage with industry representatives, who shared their knowledge and expertise, increasing the students’ understanding of the operations, its challenges, and the myriad career opportunities it holds,” Ms Jones said.

“These bright young minds may even be encouraged to contribute their fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to tackle current issues faced by the sector, especially as our industry continues to transition to a net zero economy”.

South32 Cannington Vice President Operations, Joe Russell said, the tour was an opportunity for local students to discover how they can help to shape the future of mining.

“At South32, we produce commodities that are important for the transition to a low carbon future and are commonly used in products such as solar panels and electric vehicles,” he said.

“We are passionate about what we do and it’s great to be able to share our expertise with young people who may be thinking about their own career opportunities and how they can play a role in shaping the future of our industry.

“It was a pleasure to welcome the students from Cloncurry State School and we hope to see some of them pursue a valuable career in the mining industry in the future.”

Cloncurry State School P-12 Principal, Mrs Victoria Menkins said this experience wasn’t just about mining, it was about helping students explore the life cycle of minerals, and how the resources sector produces commodities that they can find in their homes, classrooms, and even their pockets.

“Excursions like this are a fantastic opportunity for the next generation to see how concepts they’re picking up in the classroom, like engineering, chemistry, maths, and even biology – translate to real careers,” Mrs Menkins said.

“This was extremely valuable, especially at a time when they’re considering subject selection for the final years of senior school and making informed decisions about potential tertiary pathways.”

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools initiative, the QMEA seeks to broaden student and teacher knowledge of career opportunities in resources.

The academy encourages a talent pipeline of employees into vocational and professional careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 98 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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