Anglo American gets green light for Grosvenor restart

Queenslanders will be able to hear from the coal mining industry on their plans for how they will make the coal mining industry safer.

Anglo American has been cleared to restart its Grosvenor metallurgical coal operations in Queensland after months of work to remedy a methane ignition from May 2020.

On February 16, Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) allowed Anglo American to recommence longwall mining operations, after the company began a staged restarted in the final quarter of 2021.

Anglo American metallurgical coal chief executive officer Tyler Mitchelson said a lot of work had been undertaken by a range of experts to ensure the safe restart of this pivotal coal mine.

“We have been working towards a safe restart at Grosvenor for several months and today we are up and running having received our regulator’s approval last week,” Mitchelson said.

“Over the past 18 months, we have worked with leading industry experts and invested significantly in automation technology, remote operations, gas management and data analytics, introducing a number of advancements in the way underground coal mines can operate.”

The methane ignition injured five people in 2020 and suspended all operations.

In April 2021, workers re-entered the mine to conduct safety and compliance inspections before the company could ramp up to a staged restart.

Mitchelson emphasised the importance of safety at Anglo American and the company’s continued focus to protect its workers.

“Nothing comes before safety and I thank our workforce, our local stakeholders and our customers for their patience and support as we bring Grosvenor back into production,” he said.

This later than expected restart of Grosvenor means there is no material impact to Anglo American’s production targets for the 2022 financial year, as it continues to target 20 to 22 million tonnes of metallurgical coal.

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