BMA Blackwater Mine on track
AS WE hit the countdown to the school holidays on Friday, students aren't the only ones working towards a good report card.
BMA Blackwater Mine is breaking records in productivity and aiming for top marks in an industry where profitability is scoring low.
As coal prices plummet, the local mine has been "smashing" production levels with six records broken on the site.
Prime coal haulage hit 14,872,473 tonnes, sweeping aside the 2003 record of 14,137,015 tonnes.
Mine general manager Frans Knox said Blackwater had been "bounding away" in challenging times.
"We've got seven draglines on site and we're smashing production; we've smashed drill and blast, we've smashed pre-strip," Mr Knox said.
And while it's still challenging times, BMA's external affairs head Vincent Cosgrove said the company would continue to dig deep and support the local economy.
"We're trying to support our local communities like Blackwater as much as we can," Mr Cosgrove said.
At a networking event on Thursday at the Blackwater International Coal Centre, the Local Buying Program was celebrated.
"Two years down and it's fantastic to see a healthy report card," Mr Cosgrove said.
"The big thing is, the program kicked off in July 2012, and so far, we've made available over 3000 supply opportunities, and over $38 million spent with local businesses in our local communities."
Mr Cosgrove said the past 18 months had been tough, with coal prices sitting at about $109 a tonne, dropping $3 in a week.
"We're looking at areas where we can increase productivity," he said.