Anglo American suspended operations at its Moranbah North longwall mine in Queensland as a safety precaution after elevated levels of gases were detected on February 20. Miners were withdrawn and the operations remains idled.
“Conditions underground are normalizing in response to the measures being taken,” a spokesperson for Anglo American said. “The trigger for the underground withdrawal was elevated levels of some gases in the goaf (gob), which would indicate a coal heating issue and an overpressure event. We have internal and external experts assessing various information sources in order to more accurately determine the cause of the event.”
At the time of the incident, the longwall had been mining through some particularly challenging geology, the company said.
While overpressure is a term used in blasting, the company said there is no evidence that an explosion occurred and methane levels on the longwall were well within the regulatory levels.