Young woman mining champion a beacon for NSW coal

THE winner of this year’s exceptional young woman in Australian resources, Phoebe Thomas, works at BHP’s Mt Arthur mine in New South Wales – a high performing tier one asset that the company has been pressured to sell because of its decision to move out of thermal coal.
Young woman mining champion a beacon for NSW coal  Young woman mining champion a beacon for NSW coal  Young woman mining champion a beacon for NSW coal  Young woman mining champion a beacon for NSW coal  Young woman mining champion a beacon for NSW coal

Phoebe Thomas led Mt Arthur's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her role as BHP's principal, business performance at Mount Arthur Coal, Thomas led the company's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Hunter Valley in 2020.

She was also recognised for her impressive leadership, mentorship, and injury management across the business, as well as her strong advocacy on gender diversity and community outreach.

Production by BHP subsidiary NSW Energy Coal - which owns the Mt Arthur Coal mine - actually increased in the September quarter despite the impact of COVID-19 as a result of increased stripping volumes enabled by improved truck productivity.

However, BHP remains determined to sell the mine. It said it was committed to material positive impact in decarbonisation of the resources sector by targeting lower operational emissions.

The resources giant is aiming for a goal of net zero by 2050.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said Thomas was an example of women who followed opportunities provided by working with the mining industry in NSW.

"There are many incredible women in our NSW mining industry and today we celebrate the achievements of our winners and finalists in a range of fields," he said.

"From technology and innovation to engineering and trades, as well as women in operational roles and running businesses, our award winners and finalists highlight the opportunities for women in mining and showcase the career paths available to women in our sector."

Also recognised for her outstanding contribution to the NSW mining industry, Barbara Crossley, managing director at Umwelt Australia, was the co-recipient of the Gender Diversity Champion in Australian Resources Award.

Umwelt Australia provides environmental and social assessment services to the resources sector across Australia.

Crossley was named the winner for her pioneering work in the adoption of policies such as paid parental leave and genuine flexible working arrangements, as well as her drive to maintain a gender balance across all levels of the business from the graduate to executive level.