STAWELL - Stawell Gold Mines has introduced a telephone message system that notifies local residents of upcoming underground blast activities in advance.
The simple, yet effective system, which has been successful in at least one other Victorian mine, has now been adopted by the mine.
The system involves sending a text message from a mobile telephone to the landline of a number of local residents that live in streets that may be located above the many underground workings.
The messages are sent in advance at approximately 4.30pm on days when underground blasts are scheduled to occur between 5.30pm and 6pm and in sensitive locations where residents may sometimes experience surface vibrations.
Stawell Gold Mines - Environment and Community Superintendent David Coe said the system had been in operation for several weeks now.
He said he had been encouraged by the positive feedback he had received from some local residents regarding the text message system.
"From time to time, local residents that reside in streets adjacent to our mining operations contact us and voice concerns about the unexpected surface vibrations they may experience," he said.
"Our intention with the text message system is to be pro-active within the community and let them know in advance when a firing is scheduled.
"We have received good feedback from the residents that this has taken the 'fright' out of our operations."
Mr Coe said that Stawell Gold Mines was also mindful of local residents heightened sensitivities to underground operations, considering that the lower parts of the mine were now closed and that underground mine activities were focused on upper level areas that were much closer to the surface.
"The location of the underground resource that we are currently working has changed as we realise all possible resources while retreating out of the mine, with current mining operations centred on remnant mining and areas such as the Mariners ore body, two or three hundred metres below the surface."
Any resident who would like to take part in the notification system is invited to contact Stawell Gold Mines on 5358 1022 and have their contact details added.