Emergency response, News, Safety events and incidents, Underground operations

Workers safe amidst ongoing Grosvenor fire

Workers at Anglo American Grosvenor mine

Anglo American has suspended production at its Grosvenor steelmaking coal mine in Queensland after an underground coal gas fire broke out on the weekend.

Though the fire continues to burn at the mine, Anglo confirmed the safety of its workers.

“All emergency protocols were followed and the workforce was safely evacuated from the mine without injury,” Anglo said in a statement on Sunday.

“The mine team is working with specialist teams from the Queensland Mines Rescue Service and the regulatory authorities to extinguish the underground fire, prior to being able to assess the steps towards a safe re-entry into the mine.

“These procedures are expected to take several months as a result of the likely damage underground.”

Work to temporarily seal the mine from the surface is underway, which will stem the spread of smoke and extinguish the fire.

The Resources Safety Health Queensland (RSHQ) confirmed it had been informed of the incident and immediately sent coal inspectors to the site, to help secure the scene.

RSHQ chief executive officer Rob Djukic said the priority for everyone involved in this incident is the continued safety of workers.

“The coal mine is in the process of being sealed and as a result exclusion zones remain in place to ensure the safety of those on and near the site,” Djukic said.

Anglo American’s steelmaking coal business expects to produce eight million tonnes (Mt) of product in the first half of 2024, of which Grosvenor will contribute 2.3Mt.

For 2024 as a whole, production guidance for the steelmaking coal business is 15–17Mt, of which Grosvenor was expected to contribute 3.5Mt, representing lower production in the second half of the year due to a planned longwall move.

Though Anglo said the damage from the fire will likely impact production for several months, it remains to be seen how long the extent of the impacts will continue.

Subscribe to Safe to Work for the safety news that matters most to the Australian mining industry.

Send this to a friend