Coal mine notches 20 years

Zee Rijkuris and Livio Pierotti, who has worked for Premier Coal for 35 years, cutting the birthday cake. Photo: Ashley Bolt
Zee Rijkuris and Livio Pierotti, who has worked for Premier Coal for 35 years, cutting the birthday cake. Photo: Ashley Bolt

Premier Coal held a family open day last weekend to celebrate 20 years since the opening of the Premier mine.

A raft of fun activities for the kids, including a jumping castle and tours of the mine pits, highlighted the day of celebration for the mining company.

The celebrations were capped off with a birthday cake for the occasion, which was cut by Livio Pierotti, who has worked for the company for than 35 years.

The day was set up to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the mine by then-premier Richard Court on April 21, 1998.

Mr Court said at the time that the mine’s state-of-the-art technology would allow it to ‘match any coal mining operation in Australia’.

Premier Coal operations manager Jim Falconer said it was an important day in the long history of coal-mining in Collie.

Although the Premier mine was opened 20 years ago, the company started out as Western Collieries Limited in 1950 with the open-cut Collieburn mine.

Over the following 40 years, the company opened seven new open-cut and underground mines, before being the company closed down its underground mining operations in 1994.

The company was bought by Wesfarmers in 1989, before it was acquired by Chinese mining company Yangzhou in 2011.