Coal mining resumes after hazardous gas leaks

Night time mining has resumed at the Collinsville coal mine after it suspended operations following hazardous gas leaks.

The operator of the mine, Thiess, suspended operations at certain sections of the mine after 25 workers were exposed to hazardous gases.

The miner has been working with the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) since February to solve safety issues at this historically gassy mine.

"The coal seam at the Collinsville mine is prone to gas emission because of intrusions and minerals such as iron pyrites found in the surrounding geology that are prone to spontaneous combustion," a DEEDI spokesman explained.

The situation came to a head after fourteen miners were exposed to high levels of gas in a single incident at the coal mine.

"The safety of our people is our number one focus, we have been working closely with technical expert government agency SIMTARS, the Mines Inspectorate, independent experts and our people," Thiess’ executive general manager Michael Wright said.

The hazardous gases are believed to be predominantly carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide, however CFMEU district president Steve Smyth says there is also hydrogen sulphide at the site, and workers may even be exposed to hydrocarbons such as benzenes as well. 

A Thiess spokesperson said that night operations resumed this weekend, the ABC reports.

Five gas monitoring stations have been installed, and since the weekend there have been low level readings, but not one has been affected.

Thiess added that it is working on long term solutions to the issue.

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