Bomb threat forces BHP to evacuate Mt Arthur coal mine

More than 100 workers were evacuated from BHP Billiton’s Mt Arthur coal mine after a bomb threat was received on site.

An unknown caller made the threat, and reportedly said the bomb was located near the site’s administration and workshop areas.

Newcastle Herald reports workers were ordered to evacuate to nearby emergency assembly points at about 1am on Sunday morning.

It took several hours for police and emergency services to clear the area and declare the bomb threat a hoax. Work resumed at the mine shortly later.

BHP Billiton confirmed it had ‘‘suspended operations and evacuated employees as a precautionary measure due to information being received’’.

‘‘Police were notified and the information assessed. Mount Arthur Coal has recommenced operations having deemed it safe to do so,’’ a spokeswoman said.

Police said they undertook an “operation” at the mine but refused to be drawn on specific details.

Around 50 contract workers were cut from Mt Arthur coal mine last week.

More jobs are expected to be cut from the operation's workshop and maintenance crews. 

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