Local High School Students learn that Savage River mine is well-worth its weight in magnetite

Each year the mining and minerals industry are involved in extensive community engagement. Many of these events are not reported. The article below provides such an example.


In what has become an annual pilgrimage, some 35 Burnie High School students got a good dose of the diversity of mining life following a visit to Grange Resources' Savage River.

It was Burnie High School's fourth visit to Savage River as part of The Trainee and Apprenticeship Pathway Program (TAPP).

Savage River’s Senior Operations Manager Gilbert Charles said the visit by students on 24 March 2015 was another great success and a mutual enjoyment and benefit for students and Savage River staff.

"Student were provided with a detailed insight into the mine and concentrator operations and importantly talking with our people who make the mine operate safely, efficiently and productive," Gilbert said.

"Students were escorted around the mine site experiencing the working environments including mobile maintenance workshop, geology, concentrator operations and having a go on the training simulator for haul truck, dozer and excavator which was a great experience for all the students.”

TAPP is a program designed to assist students wanting to pursue a career in a trade or vocational education as well to engage students who are at risk of disengagement from education due to social and or domestic circumstances and or diverse learning needs.

TAPP teacher Steph Prendergast said that the Savage River trip was considered an institution by TAPP students.

“Around 75 per cent of the students have advised over the years that the Savage River excursion was their most memorable experience of TAPP,” Steph said.

 “Our young people who have a desire to become anything from Diesel Mechanics to Emergency Response Personnel can appreciate the magnitude of the operation, the dedication and expertise of staff and how important it is to apply themselves to learning as a lifelong endeavour – not just something you until you leave school.

“They learn more about the importance of Work, Health and Safety and following rules and protocols in their one day at Savage River than we are able to describe in the confines of the classroom. These students learn from the staff that you can start in the mining industry at any level from TA, Trades or with University qualifications or a combination of all of these throughout a career in mining.

“They learn how mining contributes to the economy not just on a local but a national and global scale. They learn about environmental responsibility and how Grange acts as a steward in terms of biodiversity and the rights for plant and animal species to exist.”

 More information on TAPP

TAPP students have to apply in writing and attend an interview and state their clear intention of what trade they wish to pursue, why they will attend school every day and understand that it is a work place therefore sickness and safety protocols are to be followed.

 The selected students are divided into two groups - TAPP TAFE and TAPP Options. All students attend school full time during Term One and during subsequent terms the TAPP TAFE students attend TAFE classes that cover units of competence at Certificate I level for their chosen trade (including hospitality, hairdressing, metal fabrication, mechanics - auto/diesel, IT, business administration, body works - motor, child care, disability services and community services) as well as one day per week work placement with a local business and TAPP OPTIONS students attend school four days per week and work placement 1 day in order to study their options subjects (Maths Extended, Wood Work, Metal Work, Art, etc.).

TAPP evolved from a Boys Only program run in 2006 by two innovative male staff members, Mathew Smart and Jeremy Norton, to a male and female program currently coordinated and taught by Alan Frankcombe and Steph Prendergast.