Peabody Energy has commenced re-entry of Zone 1 of the North Goonyella mine in Moranbah in consultation with the Queensland Mine Inspectorate. This is part of a comprehensive, phased re-ventilation and safe re-entry plan for the mine, the company said.

“Following the re-ventilation of Zone 1 of the mine, our team is ready to return underground and move us yet one step closer to resuming normal operations,” said Peabody Australia President George J. Schuller Jr. “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.”

The first zone of the mine represents approximately 25% of the area to be re-entered, and the area expected to be least affected by the incident. Upon re-entering Zone 1, Peabody will assess conditions underground and make any necessary repairs required prior to re-ventilating Zone 2.

The mine has been shut down since September after high gas levels were identified and shortly after, a fire broke out.