University students have been given a behind-the-scenes look at a mining operation.
Around 40 second year earth sciences and environmental science students at Newcastle University spent time at Banks Mining’s Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines near Cramlington.
They were able to see how a modern surface mine operates, examine the work done on site by geologists and engineers, and learn more about the way land is restored and landscaped during and after mining operations.
The visit gave the students an insight into how the knowledge they are developing on their courses might be applied in their future working lives.
Dr Martin Cooke, from the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Newcastle University, said: “The students we brought along are at the stage of their university careers where they’re starting to think about life after education, and part of our role is to try to show them how their academic skills will be applicable to the jobs they might eventually do.
“Visiting Shotton and Brenkley Lane really brought the opportunities to life for them, and getting the chance to hear from and talk to people who are doing the sorts of things that the students could soon be doing themselves will be very helpful.
“It’s the first time that these students visited sites like these, and they all absolutely loved what they saw.”
Jeannie Kielty, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: “We’re very pleased to have been able to host an enthusiastic group.”
“And to have given them a first-hand view of how we work.
“A great deal of detailed planning goes into the work we do in South East Northumberland, right through from designing a site through to its restoration, and we have a highly-skilled team in place who work hard to ensure that our Shotton and Brenkley Lane sites operate safely, responsibly and efficiently.”
Banks Mining has been working in South East Northumberland for well over three decade, and contributes around £35million to the regional economy every year from the Shotton and Brenkley Lane sites through wages, investments and the local supply chain.