Northparkes: Milestones and memories

Northparkes Mines' history begins even before the official opening in 1994.

Take a trip down memory lane and remember some of the significant events that have taken place.

  • 1992: Sumitomo begins as 20 per cent joint venture partner with 80 per cent North Mining Limited. Dick Swann appointed managing director.
  • 1993: Construction of Tailings Storage Facility 1 commenced. Open cut mining starts.
  • 1994: Official opening. First gold pour takes place. Northparkes awarded HA Ritchie Memorial Trophy for Innovation in Materials Handling. Northparkes awarded first prize for the Environmental Excellence Awards in the NSW Mineral Industry. First Northparkes ore processing crews. Commissioning of the surface crusher and the Module 1 SAG mill begins.
  • 1995: First underground crews. Copper concentrate production begins. Gold production ends. Northparkes commences commissioning of Module 2 SAG Mill, Module 1 and 2 flotation, thickeners, filtering and new tailings lines.
  • 1996: A rock-fall event occurs on August 19 and Northparkes loses team member Stephen Shorrock. Cobb Johnstone appointed managing director.
  • 1997: First mine in Australia to use the highly-efficient block caving method. E26 Block Cave Mine officially opened.
  • 1999: An airblast event occurs on November 24 and Northparkes loses four of its team members: Ross Bodkin, Michael House, Colin Lloyd-Jones and Stuart Osman. Pat Emery appointed managing director.
  • 2000: Northparkes bought by Rio Tinto.
  • 2001: E26 Lift 2 approved. Northparkes' farm makes more money than the mine.
  • 2002: E26 Pillar Wrecking Oxide Crushing and Processing Campaign starts. Mark Anderson appointed managing director.
  • 2003: Water treatment plant established.
  • 2004: Keith Calder appointed managing director. E26 LIFT 2 production starts. LIFT 1 production concludes - 26,284,997 tonnes mined. Northparkes becomes ISO14001-accredited mine site.
  • 2005: Barry Lavin appointed managing director.
  • 2006: Construction of a new block cave mine on the E48 copper and gold deposit begins. General manager appointed and team established for E48 Block Cave Mine. Record safety performance. Record copper production.
  • 2007: Production of E22 officially starts. Craig Stegman appointed managing director.
  • 2010: Northparkes' Emergency Response Team wins Victorian Mines Rescue Competition. Wiradjuri Garden officially opened. E48 automation journey starts.
  • 2011: Signing of Wiradjuri Agreement between Northparkes, Wiradjuri Council of Elders and Peak Hill Land Council.
  • 2012: Launch of Zero Harm approach, reflecting Northparkes' care for and commitment to its people, equipment, environment and the community. Block Caving Knowledge Centre opened. Stefanie Loader appointed managing director. Construction of Escourt Tailings Facility starts.
  • 2013: Volunteer Leave Program introduced, allowing employees to take leave to volunteer with local organisations. Northparkes bought by CMOC.
  • 2014: Production record set - 6.1 million tonnes per annum. Northparkes' Volunteer Leave Program wins Community Excellence award.
  • 2015: Life of Mine Studies and Exploration Department formed to realise the value of Northparkes' mineral potential. Construction of Rose Tailings Stoage Facility commences. E48 Lift 1z block cave mine becomes the world's most-automated underground mine with 100 percent-automated loaders.
  • 2016: A Century Of Mining Together vision introduced. Northparkes reaches 200 days injury free. First mine in Australia to achieve White Ribbon workplace accreditation. Heart at Work program wins health excellence award at the NSW Mining Health, Safety, Environment and Community Conference. Northparkes processes six million tonnes of ore through the mill, the second-highest volume ever processed at Northparkes.
  • 2017: Jim Fowler appointed managing director. Emergency response team places second at the Victorian Mines Rescue Competition.
  • 2018: No environmental incidents or community complaints. Metal recovery results for the year were 77.94 per cent gold and 87.59 per cent copper.
  • 2019: Hubert Lehman appointed managing director. Approval granted for expansion project. Construction of E26 LIFT 1 North Block Cave Mine begins.

Northparkes is proud to be both a farmer and a miner.

This advertising feature is sponsored by the following businesses. Click the links to find out more.

For more than 20 years it has worked on techniques to improve farming which are sustainable and appropriate to its operations and those of its neighbours.