Qualifications Success for Mining Team Tasked with Major Project

by Fraser Clarke

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

FOUR team members restoring an abandoned surface coal mine have completed a key industry qualification.

The quartet passed their SVQ Level Two thanks to on-site training provided by their employers Banks Mining – at its Ponesk surface mine restoration project in East Ayrshire.

Charles Black, Andy Hastings, John Murphy and John Linton undertook training focussed on the day-to-day operation of large scale plant equipment such as large dump trucks, excavators and bulldozers.

This latest investment by Banks Mining ensures its team can complete tasks to the highest possible standards while gaining qualifications that improve and quantify their skills.

Ewan Cowie, plant operator trainer at Banks Mining, said: “The team at Ponesk has restored an eyesore into a pleasant landscape that the community will be able to use and enjoy.

“As such, it’s essential to us that Banks staff are trained to the highest levels which enables them to carry out their work to the optimum levels of safety and quality.

“Health and safety on the Ponesk site is of paramount importance and the completion of the SVQ qualification helps us maintain confidence in the safety of our workforce.

“Having well trained and skilled operators is key to delivering the safe, responsible and efficient regeneration of the abandoned surface coal mine.”

Banks Mining is committed to the development of its employees at Ponesk.  The team at Ponesk consists largely of local people from the surrounding area.

Members of the team will transfer across to restore land at the abandoned Spireslack surface mine once work at Ponesk is complete.  Banks Mining was recently successful in landing a major contract at the neighbouring site also left abandoned when former operators, Scottish Coal, went into administration in early 2013.

Jim Donnelly, operations director at Banks Mining, said: “It’s of the highest importance to us that the workforce is confident in what they do and capable of carrying out their work to highest possible standards.

“We’re committed to ensuring they have a safe and rewarding work environment.”

The 15-strong team currently working at Ponesk are helping to improve the landscape visually and in terms of safety.

Over 5.5 million tonnes of rock and soil have been re-profiled to restore Ponesk.

Responsible for the successful restoration of all 111 mines it has completed coaling on over the past four decades, Banks Mining delivers technical knowledge and experience in a way that achieves positive results for local communities.  This is The Banks Group’s “development with care” approach.

Among many award-winning restoration projects, Banks Mining was responsible for the development of the world-renowned Northumberlandia landform (http://www.northumberlandia.com/), which was fashioned using 1.5 million tonnes of carefully selected stone, clay and soil extracted from its adjacent Shotton surface mine in South East Northumberland as part of its “restoration first” approach to working the still-operational site.

For more information about Banks Mining see: http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/mining/

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