Anglo American shuts Moranbah North amid gas fears

The lookout at Moranbah North coal mine. Image: Anglo American.

Anglo American has evacuated its workforce from the Moranbah North coal mine in Queensland as a safety precaution following elevated gas levels.

The company withdrew its workforce on February 20 with underground conditions normalising.

An Anglo American spokesperson told Safe to Work the rise in gas levels appeared in the goaf — an area behind the longwall that caves in behind the coal face after mining.

The spokesperson said it indicated a coal heating issue or change in coal face pressure that led to rising gas levels.

The company is now working with internal and external experts to assess the cause of the gas spike.

“At the time of the incident, we had been mining through some particularly challenging geology and every precaution was being taken,” the Anglo American spokesperson said.

“The conclusions from the expert review of the incident will inform a comprehensive risk assessment prior to re-entry, which will require regulatory approval.

“The safety of our workforce remains our priority and we are keeping them closely informed.”

The Moranbah North coal mine is located near Anglo American’s Grosvenor coal mine, where a gas-related accident occurred last year and injured 15 workers.

Anglo American employs more than 600 people and holds an 88 per cent stake in the Moranbah North mine.