AusIMM National Mining Games 2008

Luke Viglione is a mining student at Wollongong University. He shows us around the AusIMM 2008 Mining Games and the challenges which competitors face in the games - from preparing to detonate a rock face, to sifting for gold!

About Luke:

Luke has extensive working experience in coal mines and skill development in the workplace. He is studying (3rd year) 'Mining Engineering' (Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Mining) at Wollongong University (4 years). He got into mining because he didn't want to be stuck in an office job, he wanted to develop technical skills and thought mining would allow him to travel all over Australia and the world.

He is planning to use the experience at the National Games to make industry contacts, network with other students whom he is bound to work with in the future and gather lots of technical information and papers to finish his course.

He will also be chairing meetings. He has already contributed a lot of time to the organisation of the games in technical preparations, safety, ventilation in the tunnels, and product displays.

About The 2008 Mining Games: 

The Australasian Institute of Mineral and Metallurgy - AusIMM is the leading organisation representing all professionals in the minerals sector. They maximise opportunities for professionals in the minerals sector and promote the value of the minerals industry to the wider community.

The Ausimm National Mining Games in Wollongong 2008 is a competition for students studying 'Mining Engineering' at Uni. It is also conference for industry professionals. Students form the AusIMM Illawarra Chapter have contributed to the planning of the event to be held at the Southern Mines Rescue Station, a brand new training facility (opened in June 2008) with underground tunnels and virtual reality set ups for safety training.

The contests include; timber set, conveyor set, safety event, rock identification (Identifying ore bearing minerals in rocks), surveying, drilling (using an air leg, for speed and accuracy, gravity separation (Panning and gravity separation to produce coking coal separated from waste), mucking (which is filling and moving an ore skip) and face tie in.

Four of the other five contests; conveyor installation, blast design, timber prop setting and surveying will be held underground but can be seen on a TV monitor, whilst the other safety/risk assessment is to be held in a 3D IMAX style theatre.

Some of the tasks and the skills involved can be applied in real life mining situations and others are historical and more for fun like the mucking.