PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Major Anglo American has begun re-entry into its Moranbah North coal mine, in Queensland, following approval from Resources Safety & Health Queensland (RSHQ).
The miner in February this year undertook the controlled withdrawal of staff at the mine following a change in underground conditions, when confirmation was received of elevated readings of the gases that would indicate a coal heating event.
CEO of Anglo American's metallurgical coal business, Tyler Mitchelson, said the Moranbah North re-entry team had safely entered the mine to undertake safety and compliance inspections, and restore operating systems.
“Re-entry had been delayed due to the accumulation of water in a roadway, which needed to be lowered to restore ventilation underground. This has now been addressed and our team can continue taking steps to get Moranbah North back up and running.
"Our processes worked to safely remove people when an issue was detected in February, and since then, we have worked to review our risk assessments and safety systems and invested in additional monitoring bore holes and other measures.
“We are continuing to engage with our workforce and their representatives throughout the re-entry process and a comprehensive risk assessment for re-entry was completed with a cross-section of the workforce.”
It is expected that operations will restart during May.
Anglo American in April this year also started re-entry to the underground workings at its Grosvenor coal mine, also in Queensland, following RSHQ approval.
Longwall mining activities at Grosvenor were halted in May last year, after five workers were injured during an explosion at the operation.