PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Queensland Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham has called an urgent meeting between the government, representatives of the mining industry, and workers following a fatality at the Baralaba coal mine, and a “serious incident” at the Collinsville coal mine.
A 27-year-old mining operator employed by ASX-listed NRW subsidiary Golding was fatally injured at the Baralaba North coal mine on Sunday.
Operations at the mine have been halted until further notice, with Golding working with the Queensland Police and the Mining Inspectorate to conduct a full investigation into the incident.
In a separate incident at Glencore’s Collinsville mine, a 57-year-old worker is believed to have fallen into the coal washery area, according to reports by The Courier Mail, reportedly sustaining injuries to his back and pelvis.
The incidents come a week after a death was reported at the Middlemount coal mine, when a wall collapsed.
“I am extremely distressed and concerned that there have been six mining and quarry worker deaths in the last 12 months.
“The loss of a life in any workplace at any time is not acceptable. Families should be able to expect that when their loved ones depart for work that they return safe,” Lynham said on Monday.
The Minister said that he would be following on discussions held last week with representatives of the mining industry, including the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), the CFMEU and the Australian Workers Union, as a matter of urgency.
“I will be making it absolutely clear that this situation is unacceptable and requires action. I will make further announcements on what action will be taken by this government after I have considered all the relevant information and outcomes from the meeting.”
QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane has also expressed his condolences to the family of the worker killed.
“The ongoing focus on safety procedures and safety lessons are a day-to-day reality for the Australian resources sector. The resources sector has made constant improvements in its safety record over the last twenty years, but we cannot become complacent.
“No death on a mine site is acceptable. Industry is working on measures for a safety reset to refocus on safety in light of the recent tragedies,” he added.
The Minerals Council of Australia has also vowed that the industry would work harder to become free of fatalities, injuries and industrial diseases.
“The Minerals Council of Australia will work with all mining state councils, governments, unions and stakeholders to ensure that the safety of our workforce is a priority on all mine sites.
Clearly even greater effort is needed based on leadership, systems, people, culture and behaviour,” CEO Tania Constable said.