Idemitsu has confirmed a worker returned a positive COVID-19 test at its Boggabri coal mine in New South Wales, before further testing revealed the case was a false positive.
Under the company’s site management plan, the alleged infected worker immediately isolated on site along with any of their close contacts.
Idemitsu released a statement upon learning of the initial positive test.
“We are working to ensure that staff who NSW Health have advised may have been in close contact with this person are also in isolation awaiting further direction from NSW Health,” Idemitsu stated.
“We have shut down the mine site as a result as further testing takes place and we are working closely with and are following NSW Health advice.
“Idemitsu Australia Resources, at Boggabri and across all of its sites had been and continue to follow our COVID management protocols including increased hygiene practices in this time.”
The positive test was recorded on August 7.
On August 8 it was reported the worker was allowed to return home after a tense 24 hours and a negative COVID-19 test.
“We appreciate this has been a long and difficult day for the Boggabri Coal regional communities, and we sincerely thank all workers, families and the community for your professionalism and understanding in dealing with this complex situation,” Idemitsu stated, following the negative test.
It was not stated whether the shutdown of Boggabri coal mine would have any effect on production.
The Boggabri coking coal mine produces up to seven million tonnes per annum of coal with a mine life to 2033.
The mine has operated for 15 years, currently employing around 600 people including contractors.
Idemitsu owns 80 per cent of Boggabri through its subsidiary Boggabri Coal, with Chugoku Electric Power Australia Resources and NS Bogagbri owning 10 per cent, respectively.