26 February, 2021
Gas levels in Moranbah mine sparks safety concerns
Investigations into a potentially life-threatening gas leak at Moranbah North mine are ongoing.
MINERS at a Moranbah mine await answers after the site was closed this week due to elevated gas levels and health concerns.
Workers were evacuated from the Moranbah North mine as a safety precaution while investigations into the cause of the leak continued.
Mine -management identified carbon monoxide and ethylene gas levels within the Anglo-American owned mine that potentially indicated a spontaneous heating event.
An Anglo-American spokeswoman said that at the time of the incident operations had been navigating some challenging geology and that every precaution had been taken.
“The conclusions from the expert review of the incident will inform a comprehensive risk assessment prior to re-entry, which will require regulatory approval,” she said.
“The safety of our workforce remains our priority and we are keeping them closely informed.”
CFMEU Mining an Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth said he was relieved there were no injuries.
“But we should not lose sight of the seriousness of this event,” he said. “Managing gas levels is core business in underground coal mines.
“To have gases detected that indicate the presence of advanced heating, in an area of the mine that has high gas, is extremely concerning.”
The Morning Bulletin reported that the Queensland Mines Inspectorate had suspended operations until such time it could be proven that any risk was at an appropriate level to allow works back underground.
The Anglo-American Mining Company had recently been defending their decision to re-enter the Grosvenor Mine after five workers were injured in a gas explosion last May.
Mr Smyth said the company must direct their focus to understanding the cause of the recent leak and ensuring the safety of their workers before re-entry.
“The regulator must leave no stone unturned.”