Below earth day

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Last updated on August 6th, 2017 at 05:49 am

To mark Earth Day, reader AnthonyC – who, like Frollicking Mole, is deeply acquainted with earth-related matters – takes us on a tour of his workplace:
Writes Anthony: “I live in central Queensland, about three hours drive west of Rockhampton. There’s only one product to be mined out here: coal. It’s a pretty small-time open cut operation, only one dragline which is about 3000t, 99m long boom, 45m high (from ground to boom tip), a dig depth of 55m (below ground level) and a 35 cubic metre bucket. To put it in perspective, our current backhoe has about a 32 cubic metre bucket, so the dragline’s actually pretty small. A new dragline is on the way, which is about twice the capacity (65 cubic metre bucket).

“Here’s a photo from on top of the boom. As you can see, there’s not much out here.

“If Catherine Deveny has problems with 4WDs, she’ll most likely have a heart attack about these – all diesel and all guzzling. Not to mention the carpark, nothing but 4WDs, V8 Commodores and Falcons as far as the eye can see; that’s what happens when you give us bogans lots of cash.

“Also note the effects of a presplit blast. This is designed to break dirt away from the wall cleanly; a full-strip blast would take place after a presplit blast is completed. A presplit is small time blasting, a full shot would be anything from 200m to 1.5km long by 60m wide, with holes in about 10m x 10m pattern, drilled to a depth of around 45m. From blasting alone, we produce about 15t of greenhouse gasses every month, and we’re by no means a large operation.

“They don’t make us live underground like the Frollicking Mole, but give us houses at the exorbitant rate of $17 a week, salary sacrificed. I, fortunately enough, live on the edge of the bush. It’s not uncommon to see kangaroos or emus bouncing or running past my house in the mornings and evenings.”

Posted by Tim B. on 04/22/2007 at 12:44 PM
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