PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner Anglo American has undertaken the controlled withdrawal of staff at its Moranbah North coal mine, in Queensland, following a change in underground conditions.
“The trigger for the underground withdrawal was elevated levels of some gases in the goaf, which would indicate a coal heating issue and an overpressure event. We have internal and external experts assessing various information sources in order to more accurately determine the cause of the event,” the company said in a statement.
“At the time of the incident, we had been mining through some particularly challenging geology and every precaution was being taken.
“The conclusions from the expert review of the incident will inform a comprehensive risk assessment prior to re-entry, which will require regulatory approval,” the company said.
Anglo American noted that conditions underground were normalising in response to measures being taken, and that the safety of the company’s workforce remained its top priority.
Anglo American was forced to halt operations at its Grosvenor mine, also in Queensland, in May of last year, after five workers were injured in an explosion at the operation.
The company in December announced an investment into accelerating the technology to improve safety in underground mining, with the company set to spend A$1.5-billion for gas management over a five-year period across its underground mines.
Longwall operations at Grosvenor are expected to resume in the second half of this year.