PERTH (miningweekly.com) – US coal major Peabody Energy has started the re-entry of the North Goonyella mine, in Queensland.
The miner this week told shareholders that the re-entry activities, which are being done in consultation with the Queensland Mine Inspectorate, were part of a comprehensive, phased reventilation and safe re-entry plan for the mine.
“Following the reventilation of Zone 1 of the mine, our team is ready to return underground and move us yet one step closer to resuming normal operations," said Peabody Australia president George Schuller Jr.
“We appreciate the dedication and participation of our trained employees, as well as the Queensland Mine Rescue Service, as we continue to advance this process.”
The first zone of the mine represents approximately 25% of the area to be re-entered, and the area expected to be least affected by the incident. Upon re-entering Zone 1, Peabody will assess conditions underground and make any necessary repairs required prior to reventilating Zone 2.
Peabody last September evacuated personnel at the mine during a planned longwall move from the 9 North panel to the 10 North panel, owing to high gas levels. Despite weeks of work to take steps to treat the oxidation of coal from the surface, efforts were unsuccessful, resulting in a fire a few weeks later.