Exceeding its production guidance helped get Northern Star a finalist's berth this year.
That, and doing it while also reducing its lost time injury frequency rate by 50% to 0.9, which is well below the underground mining sector's performance of 2.7.
The total recordable injury frequency rate fell too, dropping 75% to 3.2, which is well below the sector's rate of 9.6.
This came through the company's STARR core values of safety, teamwork, accountability, respect and results.
Laying claim to having four continuous miner units in the top 10 in the world helped Idemitsu Australia Resources' Ensham Resources underground coal mine make the cut. Those machines were compared against industry leading South African and US mines.
The operations have also concurrently achieved a 52% decrease in recordable injuries through continued safety focused engineering initiatives.
The bord and pillar coal mine is located 40km northeast of Emerald, Queensland.
In 2019 Ensham had two continuous miner units that produced more than 1 million tonnes each; another two that achieved 960,000t; and one unit, which had to negotiate a number of major faults, producing just under 700,000t.
PIMS Group is a multidisciplinary mining-focused business. It has focused on continual improvement through adjustments to its procedures and policies. Those shifts have created a more focused team, raising efficiency and accuracy.
Slot raising is a critical phase in any underground mining process that traditionally involves a lot of people, rigs and time.
Then there are the safety issues.
Raising Australia, part of Byrnecut, has developed a system that requires just one operator and that operator located well away from the rig.
Bringing a bit of electricity to its operations helped Olympic Dam secure the final finalist's berth.
It has been working to reduce the exposure of its team members to diesel particulate matter by 50% by 2022.
One of the ways it has done that is to bring in a battery-powered electric Land Cruiser ute and is bringing in another this year. Those vehicles will work within the mine's 240-strong underground light vehicle fleet.