OceanaGold opened on Tuesday afternoon Asia’s only underground mine training facility located inside Clark Field in Pampanga.
The 240-square-meter state-of-the-art facility, which is considered the biggest in the world and also Asia’s only Underground Metalliferous Mining Simulator, produces underground tunnel environment with standbys and drives for jumbo operations, fuel refilling, vehicle storage, a refuge chamber, crib room and magazine replicating the areas with the same equipment found within an underground mine.
Chito Gozar, senior vice-president for communications and external affairs of OceanaGold, in a press briefing, said, “It was an absolutely fantastic day for OceanaGold, industry partners and the local community. Our team has worked so hard to build this facility which will play an important role in supporting OceanaGold’s long term strategic initiative which is creating more opportunities for future mining professionals in the country.”
Gozar said OceanaGold has invested over $2-million in constructing this international facility to train competent and highly-skilled underground miners for its Didipio Underground Mine and other national and international recognized companies.
He said the underground simulator has been constructed to provide students an immersive environment to best prepare for the work in an underground mine.
Mick Wilkes, managing director and chief executive of OceanaGold, said the facility demonstrates the company’s commitment to excellence in training and to creating more opportunities for future mining professionals.
“We are passionate about investing in our people and giving them the support and skills they need to excel in their roles. Their success is our success,” he said.
“This new facility will offer future mining professionals an opportunity to learn and develop their skills in a simulated environment and ensure they are safe and ready to commence work when they arrive at site,” he added.
In addition to the official opening of the training facility, OceanaGold also introduced the intensive and structured four-month training course, called the “Competency Through Learning” (CTL) Program, which will deliver accredited skills and competence to local-hired students; and equip them with necessary skills to be highly proficient underground mine professionals.
While the CTL program and the training facility will initially provide training for OceanaGold’s Didipio Mine, employees from other mining organizations across the Philippines will also be able to participate in the training program.
“It’s great opportunity to train here in the Underground facility. Rarely does this chance ever come along,” said Gozar. PNA