Northparkes farming operation enters new phase

NEW PARTNERSHIP: Tim and Greg Wright with Northparkes' Matthew Burkitt after it was announced Northparkes had a new partner in its farming enterprise. Photo: Supplied.
NEW PARTNERSHIP: Tim and Greg Wright with Northparkes' Matthew Burkitt after it was announced Northparkes had a new partner in its farming enterprise. Photo: Supplied.

The CMOC-Northparkes mines (Northparkes) aren't just about mining copper and gold, they play an vitally important role in many parts of the community, including a very successful farming operation.

The farming operation has been running for over 20 years, and is now moving into a new era after entering into a new partnership.

Northparkes has a progressive and innovative reputation in both the agricultural and mining industries, and Managing Director Hubert Lehman is proud of the role their farming plays in the Parkes community.

"Our farming operations are a significant contributor to Northparkes' positive public perception and social licence to operate."

A decision has been made recently, however, to take the operation in a different direction after an analysis of the model prompted a re-think.

"In 2019, we opted to place our farming operations into long fallow for the 2019 winter cropping season.

"This decision was based on the onset of the drought conditions and the poor rainfall outlook for the year ahead.

"Following this decision, we conducted an analysis of our current farming arrangements model to identify other opportunities," said Hubert.

As a result, Northparkes made the decision to pursue a share farming model that would allow them to focus their resources on core business, including the execution of key major capital projects, while still maintaining a farming presence in the community and continuing sustainable farming practices.

It also saw the end of Goodsell's long term farming association with Northparkes, as their contract concluded in December 2019.

Goodsell's have been involved with Northparkes' farming operations since its inception in 1997 and the 23-year partnership saw the introduction of many new farming techniques to the district, something Hubert was keen to recognise.

"I would like to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge Scott, Janelle and their team and wish them well with their future endeavours."

Earlier this year, an expression of interest was distributed, requesting that parties interested in partnering with Northparkes' farming operations submit their proposed farming plan and commercial framework

"Our commercial team conducted a competitive tendering process that included both technical and commercial analysis to identify a suitably skilled and equipped farmer to operate our farming operations.

"I'm pleased to announce that the Wright Family Partnership has officially signed a contract to enter into a share farm arrangement with us," announced Hubert.

The two year contract (with the option for a third) will continue to have a strong focus on conservation and implement the sustainable farming practices that Northparkes have been using for over 20 years.