Optimising Services for Clients – Ashton Case Study

By Daniel Barclay and Costante Conte

In 2014, AGE established the Newcastle office to service the Hunter Valley and regional New South Wales. The office has been managed for nearly three years by Principal Hydrogeologist Costante Conte. Cos has a varied and valuable experience; as a NSW coal mine and exploration geologist, environmental hydrogeologist and South Australian EPA officer enabling him to see client issues from varied perspectives. Cos is supported by two experienced and practical hydrogeologists based in Newcastle and of course the larger team in Brisbane.

Since joining AGE, Cos has established a number of trusted relationships with several key clients in the Hunter Valley; of particular note is the relationship Cos has established with Ashton Mine. Ashton initially commissioned AGE to review the sites groundwater monitoring network. This work was followed by a contract to manage the sites routine groundwater monitoring and compliance reporting.

Prior to commencing this work, Cos focussed on identifying improvements to the methodology and quality of the data being captured. This including recognising measures to improve the sampling process to provide reliable and representative samples and observations. This has since provided greater confidence in the data being collected and maintained. After each field sampling event AGE provides a concise report summarising the activities completed, the results of the sampling and a brief interpretation of data. This work has enabled us to demonstrate our core competency in carrying out routine field activities, data collection, storage, interpretation and reporting. The client has been impressed with our proactive nature and high level of professionalism when it comes to our health and safety, and the respect we show for our working environment.

Following the establishment of a trusted relationship based on open communication, Yancoal has requested that AGE provide additional hydrogeological support and services to Yancoal including annual reviews, trigger exceedance reviews, end of panel reports and continuing improvements to the site numerical model. AGE is keen to foster this type of working relationship with new and existing clients.