Anglo American has reported an increase in gas levels at the Grosvenor coal mine in Queensland due to the oxidation of coal while mining activities have been suspended.
This did not surprise the company, which has been monitoring gas levels to ensure the safety and integrity of the site since were operations on hold since May 6 following an accident.
Anglo American reconnected gas monitoring equipment and started re-entry stages to the mine in mid-May, after receiving an approval from the mine inspectorate.
As Anglo American metallurgical coal business chief executive officer Tyler Mitchelson explained, this was in line with the company’s protocols.
“Consistent with our risk management protocols we made the early decision to fully restrict access to the mine when levels of certain gasses started to rise as a result of inactivity on the longwall,” he said.
“Over the past couple of days, we commenced a range of measures to stabilise the area. Once gas levels are proven to be stable, work will continue to ensure the ongoing safety and integrity of the mine.”
The accident, which was confirmed to be an underground ignition event, saw five workers sent to hospital with burn injuries.
Mining activities at the Bowen Basin site have been halted for more than a month, with 800 employees and contractors sent home on full pay.
They will not return to the site until it is deemed safe to do so.
Anglo American continues to investigate the accident, which was the first of its kind to happen in Queensland in 26 years.