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Mining company's $1M CQ move to combat suicide

MINING MESSAGE: The R U OK? dragline bucket on display at Peabody's Coppabella mine.
MINING MESSAGE: The R U OK? dragline bucket on display at Peabody's Coppabella mine. Peabody Energy

WHENEVER a miner sees the bright green dragline bucket at Peabody's Coppabella mine, they will be reminded to ask their workmates, R U OK?

In a bid to raise awareness about suicide and mental health, a new million-dollar bucket almost six times large than a concrete mixer truck is on display at the Moranbah mine as a constant reminder to workers that the leading cause of death for men aged 25-44 and woman aged 25-34 is suicide.

Assembled in time for R U OK? Day today the bucket is affixed to a boom and allows the huge dragline to remove overburden from the mine pit in eye-catching fashion thanks to a unique design and prominent 'Mates In Mining' decals - the industry program dedicated to mates helping mates.

The dragline bucket on display at Peabody's Coppabella mine.
The dragline bucket on display at Peabody's Coppabella mine. Peabody Energy

Peabody Australian president George J. Schuller Jr. said research conducted by the Minerals Council of Australia to gather opinions of 1,500 Australians towards the mining sector highlighted strong views that the industry should be investing in health and welfare programs for its employees and the community.

"Peabody is incredibly passionate about keeping people safe in 2017 alone we invested $160,000 into employee and community mental health and social welfare initiatives.

"The Mates In Mining dragline bucket is another way we are attempting to remove the stigma around mental health issues by reminding people that we all go through tough times, and it can be as simple as asking someone you work with R U OK? that could save a life," Mr Schuller said.

As well as supporting community health and welfare, Mr Schuller revealed the dragline bucket was also an opportunity to provide support to local business with the design and manufacture of the bucket being handled by two Mackay companies - CQMS Razer and Melco.

"Peabody prides itself on investing in the communities where we operate and when opportunities come up to buy locally, we jump on them," he said.

"It's fantastic to have innovative businesses like CQMS Razer and Melco on our doorstep. They have engineered a solution that allows us to increase our production with new wider bucket technology that fills very quickly.

"Production aside, if the bucket's higher purpose of suicide awareness makes a difference to at least one of our valued team members, that would be very rewarding indeed."

Topics:  coppabella cq mining suicide