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Thread: Anyone ever worked at Telfer gold mine WA

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Brisbane West
    Posts
    22,205
    Holy thread revival, Batman!
    If you don't like trucks, stop buying stuff.
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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Qld
    Posts
    1
    I worked there from'78 till '81 for Quest,Dump trucks had no Ac back then,no hard hats short sleeve
    shirts and 56C down in the pit,
    the camp was just over from the current mine workshops,now covered in spoils.I traveled in with
    my HR premier was pretty scary back then lots of river crossings.They later on moved the camp
    closer into town.I remember fighting fires one night that threatened telfer using one of the Michigan 475
    loaders.Yes i remember the quest manager,Ray H and his side kick bookie.
    Don't know how we did it back then in that heat,12 hour shift's all in one showers 2 weeks night shift
    2 weeks day shift continuous,till you'd had enough and flew out for a break,i remember flying out to
    PH in a little Cessna,staying in the Port Hotel, bare knuckle boxing laid on every friday night.
    By the way Quest mining was under receivership due to their failed sand mining efforts in Enneabba,
    Ray H was sent in as a consultant manager and turned the company around the shares went sky high
    they sold out and the company got taken over by another group.
    cheers
    colin

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Ocean Reef WA
    Posts
    2,684
    I went to Telfer in late ’81 just before Xmas. Bloody hard leaving the wife and kids at that time but I wanted the work so did it. Ray Hardy the boss of Quest Mining used to watch new employees come off the plane and if he didn't like the look of you, back on you went. No argument allowed.
    Good camp about a mile from the Telfer townsite. Airconned single rooms with a small fridge in each to keep essentials cold.
    Ray Hardy bought all new Cat 777 trucks, 992C loaders and other equipment mostly, plus some Terex trucks to haul dirt and he got them because of the contract he had with Newmont for removing overburden from the ore body. All air conned of course and us on the field maintenance crews used to reckon the operators were a bunch of fairies who couldn't live without nice soft conditions in their cabs.
    Living conditions and lengthy time away from home weren’t what todays snow flakes could or would have put up with. Try about 13 weeks on with a week plus weekend off. Drove some people troppo.
    There was one phone box for our camp where we all queued up to call home maybe once a week. Hot as hell inside that glass box. I remember a girl whose Mum worked for Telstra or whatever they called themselves back then, and she used to gob off for hours for free with no regard for others who wanted to speak to the wife and kids.
    Good food there and many great **** ups on shift change weekends. Ray used to reckon "Keep 'em ****ed and keep 'em happy" and we were happy to go along with that. Bad cooks never lasted long there either.
    Gambling was done via the on site booky Jim G who happened to be the 2IC for Quest.
    One of my mates Michael C said one day “Lend us your radio Alan, mines broken". 'No Michael, I know why yours is broken".
    I’d seen his radio come flying out his donga door a few times when his horse lost a race. He used to lose most of his fortnightly pay to the booky.
    TV never came to Telfer until sometime about mid ‘82 and I remember staggering back from the pub one night full of **** and seeing this strange greenish glow just off the track to camp. As I got closer I could see all these people sitting around in a half circle peering intently at a TV of all things!
    It had been hooked up to the satellite system which was soon to go through to all the camp rooms and they were watching the FA Cup final. I was so intent on looking at them I fell straight down a hole which had been dug for something or other and they rushed to rescue me.
    I got a bollocking the next day from the then manager of Quest for using foul language.
    The road in from the Marble Bar/ Hedland Road was all dirt back then but that never deterred us from weekend trips when possible to drive to Carawine Gorge or the "town" Marble Bar for some good fun when we could between shifts. Quest even used to provide BBQ pack to sustain us during these times.
    I got the sack eventually after falling asleep on night shift when my room aircon had packed up on a 40C day and I got no sleep.
    Such is life as they say but it was one of the only places I regret leaving.
    AlanH.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Brisbane West
    Posts
    22,205
    The thread that keeps giving.
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  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Ocean Reef WA
    Posts
    2,684
    People told me it was a rough place when they knew I was off up there but I didn't find it bad at all. Anyone fighting or causing trouble soon got moved out... so quick you never realised they'd been flown out until they didn't turn up for work. Out of bed and on the plane.
    The manager made me do about 6 weeks of nightshift on end because he reckoned I was a problem at one time but relented when he thought I'd been punished enough. Never bothered me actually and it wasn't until I met another ex Telfer bloke on another site that he told me this twit manager had taken his misgivings about a certain thing out on several others in the same way. Bit paranoid apparently about what happened when he was off site in Perth.
    One of my mates, the bloke who lost much money on the horses, used to operate a small blast hole drill at various sites they were preparing to open up and reckoned Pit 6 was the scariest place he'd ever worked. Pit 1 & 2 were the main production areas back then and he'd be taken out to his drill at Pit 6 and he'd sit their drilling the pattern.... surrounded by dingoes with their eyes all lit up by the lights on his drill. He hated getting out to change the bit as he reckoned they may have taken the opportunity to jump on him.
    Funny area Pit 6 though and many felt uneasy about working there including me. Some of the lads reckoned they'd play a trick on a D9L driver there one night as he pushed dirt around. One dressed up in a white sheet and run around just out of the dozers lights to scare the operator, Jack C from memory. You'd be lucky to scare him with anything, real tough bloke and all the prankster got for his trouble was bloody great dozer chasing him back to the ute.
    Hard work, hot and dusty and I still get all sorts of skin cancers cut out after 40 years on from that and all the other jobs I worked on. Not much H & S as tough as it is now.
    AlanH.

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