Or maybe they do . . .
12.06.2011 - 19.06.2011 22 °C
Mining is big business in Australia so we should check out a mine while we're travelling, shouldn't we? Mount Isa Mine digs out silver, lead and zinc but we didn't do a mine tour. No-one in the family felt like it. The Blackwater International Coal Centre offers coal mine tours but not on weekends. Also why pay $45 to get advertised to by coal companies? So we skipped that too.
Then today, almost by accident, we drove into Gladstone and up to the port lookout. Fantastic views of the coal handling facilities - no really! Huge amounts of black coal from Bowen Basin mines are sent on ships all around the world. We saw it being moved off huge long trains and along conveyer belts. Not very good for climate change but there you go. And aluminium (made using huge amounts of coal-powered electricity and therefore also rotten for climate change) goes out from Gladstone. And 28 other things do too. We learnt this at another lookout set up last year by Queensland Alumina Limited. It has views over their massive smelter (see above photo) and nicely written information about how aluminium is made. Did you know that the red pebbles of bauxite used to make alumina are called 'pisolite'? Michael and Susie, who showed no interest in aluminium, thought that was hilarious.
On a different note, but related to pebbles, we now have a chip in our windscreen. We can't complain. We've driven more than 13,000km and all we've had is a flat tyre (when car was parked 5 days and able to be fixed after) and this glass chip.