A group of students have been digging in to learn about potential careers in the extractive industries.
Around 40 second year Earth Sciences and Environmental Science students at Newcastle University visited Banks Mining’s Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines near Blagdon.
They were able to see how a modern surface mine operates, examine work done on site by geologists and engineers, and learn more about the ways in which land is restored and landscaped during and after mining operations.
The visitors were also able to view how the health, safety and environmental protection measures work in practice, and were also given presentations on Banks’ operations in the area.
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 have been able to visit sites like these, and they all absolutely loved what they saw.
“The Banks Mining team put on a fantastic day for us, and it will support the academic work that our students undertake with us.”
Jeannie Kielty, community relations manager at The Banks Group, added: “We’re very pleased to have been able to host such an enthusiastic group at Shotton and Brenkley Lane, 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.”