The Coal Trader

Fire at Anglo’s Grosvenor Coal Mine Prompts Evacuation

A recent fire at the Grosvenor Coal Mine in central Queensland has triggered an evacuation and raised concerns about the mine’s future. The incident occurred on Saturday morning when methane ignited underground, leading to an immediate evacuation of all workers, confirmed safe with no injuries reported.

Located approximately 190km southwest of Mackay, the Grosvenor Coal Mine has been under scrutiny following a similar methane explosion in May 2020 that severely injured five workers. The latest fire has prompted fears that the mine, which began operations in May 2016 and produced 117 million tonnes of coal last year, may not reopen.

Resources Safety Health Queensland (RSHQ) was quickly notified of the incident, with mines inspectors currently investigating the causes of the methane ignition. “We understand all workers have been removed from underground and accounted for, with no injuries reported,” said an RSHQ spokesperson.

The mine has continually reported high gas levels since its reopening, and in late January, RSHQ was alerted to a methane exceedance at both the Grosvenor and adjacent Moranbah North coal mines. In response to the recent fire, Queensland Mines Rescue has deployed a large GAG unit—a truck-mounted jet engine designed to inject nitrogen into the mine shaft to lower oxygen levels and prevent combustion.

Anglo American, the operator of the Grosvenor Mine, has emphasized its commitment to safety, employing extensive real-time monitoring systems and a dedicated team to manage the incident. The company has also recently faced a potential sale of its Australian coal mines, increasing scrutiny on its safety practices.

In response to the incident and ongoing safety concerns in the sector, Queensland’s government passed new legislation aimed at bolstering safety measures in the mining industry, including the implementation of critical controls as recommended by the Coal Mining Board of Inquiry.

Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals, Scott Stewart, affirmed the government’s stance on miner safety. “Queenslanders have a right to come home safely from their work, and I expect a full and thorough investigation into this,” he stated.

This fire marks yet another challenging event for the Grosvenor Mine, emphasizing the ongoing safety concerns within the coal mining industry in Queensland.

Source: ABC

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