Mining to resume at South32’s Appin Colliery

The New South Wales Resources Regulator has allowed mining to resume at South32’s Appin Colliery after concerns over gas levels.

Operations were suspended at the underground mine – which forms a part of South32’s Illawarra metallurgical Coal operation – earlier this year after repeated concerns over exceeding gas levels.

Workers had been evacuated in May and June this year as a precaution and the Resources Regulator eventually issued the mine a prohibition notice.

After conducting a compliance review of Appin, the Regulator has now allowed ‘limited’ mining operations at Appin, providing it undertakes remedial actions.

Production activities will be limited to longwall and maximum three development units until further works are completed regarding the reliability of the gas drainage, ventilation, electrical systems and the security of critical power supplies.

In response, South32 provided the Regulator a detailed restart plan which identifies immediate, medium and long-term action to resume mining operations.
The Regulator’s chief compliance officer Anthony Keon said it issued prohibition notices to the operations following serious safety concerns at the site.

“We’ve worked closely with the mine operator and we’re now comfortable that the mine has put systems and controls in place to deal with the immediate safety issues and has a robust plan to address longer-term issues,” he said.

“Of course, we will continue to monitor the site to ensure any issues are resolved quickly and within the scope of their mining licence.”

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