PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner South32 expects to lose about 500 000 t of output at its Appin coking coal mine, after elevated gas concentrations forced the temporary suspension of production at the New South Wales mine.
Longwall 7 and 9 were suspended to enable an investigation to be completed, with South32 telling shareholders this week that the elevated gas concentrations resulted from the failure of a ventilation fan. The issue has been rectified.
However, having restarted operations at the longwall Area 9, it became apparent that the outage had exacerbated challenging ground conditions, and the company took the decision to suspend production to complete remedial work.
The work is expected to take four weeks to complete.
The Appin Area 7 longwall will run at a reduced rate before ramping up to full capacity once the necessary test confirmed that methane gas concentrations could be maintained at safe levels.