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Central Qld coal employee quits after 42 years

Nick Pearce
Nick Pearce

A veteran mine worker completed more than four decades of service in Queensland’s Isaac region.

Nick Pearce recently retired after spending 42 years working for BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA’s) Peak Downs Coal Mine, 209km southwest of Mackay.

The coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP) operator first joined the operation as a trade’s assistant at the wash plant during June 1980. He was appointed as CHPP operator two years later and stayed in the same job.

“I started when I was 19 and I did things like ground hosing, before I went to the operator role – you worked your way up,” he said in a public statement.

Pearce spent the past 40 years operating, monitoring and maintaining plant mobile equipment in the CHPP team. He witnessed many changes throughout his time.

“Where I noticed the biggest difference was a lot more is computerised now – the controls and what is read on the conveyors. It is a bit like your car and what has changed over the years,” he said.

“In the 42 years I have been at Peak safety has come a long way – nothing can be fixed overnight but we made big improvements over time.”

He plans to finish building a new house and spend more time with friends.

“I play a lot of golf. Now I play vets golf and a lot of old coal miners play vets golf, so it will be like going to work,” he said.

BHP congratulated Pearce on a “wonderful career” and for making the mine “proud”.

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