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QMEA students taking on mine challenge

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Fourteen students will gather in Moranbah this week for the annual BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Mine Challenge.

The year 11 and 12 students from Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) schools will participate at Goonyella Riverside and Saraji mines, The Morning Bulletin reported.

QMEA project officer Robyn Flexman said the week is a good opportunity for students who want a career in engineering as it provides them with practical experience and contact with BMA staff.

“The challenge is the ultimate work experience and it’s something special to say you’ve worked on real mining projects before beginning a university course,” Flexman said.

Students will work with engineers, operators, geologists and health and safety advisers, where they have to make a ‘box cut’ for a new pit and have to obtain a fleet to finish the task.

They will have to prepare a presentation to senior management at the end of the week where they will have to explain their choices and planning.

BMA Goonyella Riverside Mine general manager Steve Johnston said BMA is pleased to be associated with the yearly Mine Challenge along with the QMEA.

“Programs like the Mine Challenge are a great opportunity for students to experience firsthand what it’s like to work in a mining operation and live in a mining community,” Johnston said.

“By showcasing the rewarding careers available in the resources sector, we hope to inspire a whole new generation of mining professionals.”

The QMEA works with 34 schools in Queensland and connects them with sponsor companies that want to offer careers in the mining industry.

A group of high school students from QMEA gave presentations in Newcastle recently to 20 Xstrata engineers and senior mine workers.

The students presented their findings to the Xstrata group after learning either trade or professional skills in the mining industry.

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