After four years of a sharing a successful partnership with NSW Mining, the Newcastle Knights are well acquainted with visiting mining sites throughout the Hunter region and the state.
But when Knights Chanel Mata’utia and David Bhana visited a mining site on Monday to kick off celebrations ahead of the Voice for Mining Family Day on Sunday, the players encountered something they weren’t expecting.
Donned in the obligatory high-vis vests, hard hats and safety equipment, the players were driven to a piece of lush bushland just under a kilometre from the Glencore West Side mining headquarters, half an hour’s drive from Newcastle.
The players were visiting a rehabilitated piece of land, that just over 10 years before had contained a fully operational mine site.
“They have done some amazing rehabilitation. Late in the late 90s early 2000s this place stopped producing coal,” Director of Media and Public Affairs at NSW Mining Brad Emery said.
“In that time they have seeded the ground and have done some forest regeneration here.
“It’s quiet amazing what Glencore has been able to do in such a small amount of time.”
The mining industry is synonymous with the Hunter Valley and has provided a source of employment for thousands since the 1800s.
In present day, the mining industry stands as one of the main pillars of the local economy.
“There are about 11,000 direct mining jobs in the Hunter Valley that are provided by mining and that’s 11,000 families that depend on mining,” he explained.
“There are thousands of others who work in businesses who support mining and their jobs are supported by mining as well.
“The Voice for Mining Family day is one of the great opportunities to celebrate one of the greatest industries in the Hunter.”
The Newcastle Knights are proud to stand behind mining families in the Hunter region and appreciate the support they in return provide to the Club.
“There is a deep history between the Knights and the mining industry and it is an easy fit to have the Knights stand up and support the NSW mining industry and the Hunter economy,” he said.
“The link between mining and the Knights is strong and continues to be strong through the voice for mining family day."
The Knights will take the field in specially designed high-vis mining jerseys when they take on the Wests Tigers in the Voice for Mining Family Day on Sunday at Hunter Stadium.
“It’s always good putting the mining jersey on, it’s an exciting round. We have the Tigers this week. They are similar to us with a young squad,” Mata’utia said.
"It’s great to see so many mining families supporting us and that’s why we as Newcastle Knights want to support the Hunter Valley Mining industry,” Bhana added.
Gates open at 11.15am with all three grades playing on home turf on Sunday. To purchase tickets, click here.
The first 4000 people through the gates receive a commemorative NSW Mining high-vis vest to wear.