Glencore’s Bulga Underground mine workers have shifted their focus from the long wall to the long haul to help out farmers in need in the NSW Central West. Representatives from the mine have joined forces with local contracting company Fluren and the Give Back Campaign’s Buy A Bale project to organise delivery of 1000 bales of lucerne for much-needed feed stock to drought-affected properties.
Trucks carrying the produce, grown on properties owned and managed by Bulga, will headed off on the 600km round-trip in early March.
Bulga’s Environment & Community Officer, Lucy Stuart, said the assistance for farms in drought had ironically come about because of recent heavy rain in the Upper Hunter.
“We grow lucerne on buffer land properties surrounding our underground operations, primarily for use in erosion and sediment control and rehab works on site, and we assist local farmers with anything that’s surplus to our requirements,” Lucy explained.
“But our crops have flourished after the rain we’ve experienced in the area over recent months, as have those grown by other farmers in the region. So we were left with a significant amount of quality lucerne that we certainly didn’t want to see go to waste. We saw an advertisement about Buy A Bale in the Argus recently, and we contacted them to discuss options. Apparently, farmers in the Coonabarabran area have had as little as 10 mm of rain since Christmas so the hay will be welcomed by those property owners.”
Buy A Bale’s, Brad Butcher, said “its has been great working with Glencore on this hay drop. This area of NSW continues to miss out on substantial rainfall and we have to do everything we can to support the farmers until the rains arrive and follow up rain also occurs. With organisations such as Glencore helping out in this way it makes it easier for us to get to as many farmers as possible.”
The donation to the farming community at Coonabarabran is one of several initiatives Glencore has put in place to support rural activities in the communities in which the company’s coal mines operate. Liddell open cut mine has just begun the second phase of a grazing trial that aims to develop guidelines that will see rehabilitated mine land support commercial grazing after mining has finished. The company’s Ulan operations in the NSW mid-west is providing agistment for local farmers on rich pasture that is being irrigated with treated mine water.