Peabody Energy has started re-entering Zone One of the North Goonyella mine in Moranbah, Queensland following its “spontaneous combustion event” last year.
The mines inspectorate team will also re-enter the mine as part of its ongoing investigation into the event.
Zone One represents around 25 per cent of the area to be re-entered, and the area expected to be the least affected by the incident.
Peabody will assess conditions underground and make any necessary repairs prior to reventilating Zone Two.
“Following the reventilation of Zone One of the mine, our team is ready to return underground and move us yet one step closer to resuming normal operations,” Peabody Australia president George J. Schuller Jr. said.
“We appreciate the dedication and participation of our trained employees, as well as the Queensland Mine Rescue Service, as we continue to advance this process.”
North Goonyella suffered from a tenacious fire in September last year that started from high gas levels during a planned longwall move from the 9 North panel to the 10 North panel.
The inspectors have been on-site since then and more recently throughout the process of reviewing the operator’s risk management activities ahead of mine re-entry, to ensure that the safety and health of coal mine workers is at an acceptable level of risk.
Peabody will provide periodic updates on its website as well as a more detailed update as part of its second quarter earnings release.