Peabody Energy has started re-ventilating the first segment of the North Goonyella underground coal mine following consultation with the Queensland Mines Inspectorate.
The coking coal mine near Moranbah suffered from a fire caused by high gas levels during a longwall move in September 2018. The fire occurred two months after the company announced plans to build a new mining area (North Goonyella South) that would help extend the mine’s life to 2026.
It caused extensive damage and led to the eventual closure of the site. The ventilation works are part of a phased plan to reopen the mine for expected longwall production in 2020.
Peabody president and chief executive officer Glenn Kellow said the plan marked “an important first step” for the next phase of activities to resume normal operations at North Goonyella.
Prior to starting re-ventilation, Peabody had already implemented safety measures to improve ventilation at the mine. The measures included temporary seals at certain cut-through areas to segregate the mine into zones, the installation of real-time gas monitoring solutions, and concrete cutting of two mine access drifts in order to create a ventilation pathway through the mine.
“As we move forward in the process, we appreciate the ongoing support of our many stakeholders including our employees, the union, customers, the Inspectorate, neighbouring mines, the community of Moranbah and countless others,” Kellow said.
The United States-based company’s Australian interests include several mines in the Bowen Basin region, such as Millennium, Middlemount, Coppabella and Moorvale, as well as mines in the Hunter Valley region in New South Wales.
Peabody struck a $126 million deal with Ausdrill subsidiary BTP last week to extend an ongoing contract for the supply of mining equipment to its Australian mines.