On the evening of 24 July 1979, 14 miners lost their lives in a tragedy that has remained a solemn chapter in our Appin mine’s history.
In remembrance of the victims, our Illawarra Metallurgical Coal operation held a commemorative event at the Appin Mine Memorial Garden to bring the community together 40 years on from the disaster.
Hundreds of people from the Appin community attended the ceremony, which included the recital of a poem written by a son of one of the victims; a local Choir singing about the disaster, and a son of one the miner’s speaking of the lasting impact on his family.
Our employees also laid a wreath in remembrance of their lost colleagues.
Illawarra Metallurgical Coal Vice President Operations, Jason Economidis, said the event was an opportunity to remember the victims alongside many of the community members impacted by the tragedy.
“It’s important that we come together to commemorate our lost colleagues, friends and family members,’ Mr Economidis said.
We also unveiled a miniature replica of the commemorative sculpture recently commissioned by South32.
The final sculpture will be unveiled at next year’s anniversary event and will be close to the original memorial built by colleagues of the victims one year after the disaster.
The design of the artwork has been done in consultation with the victims’ families, with the project aiming to commemorate the victims and their families and build awareness of the improved safety measures within the mining industry since the incident.