GFG Alliance’s Tahmoor coal mine has remain closed awaiting the outcomes of investigations and on-going mine safety assessments. The mine became national headlines last week when two miners were trapped in a lift cage due to a winder tripping fault. A rescue operation was initiated by NSW Fire & Rescue service where a crane was used to lower a man cage to recover the workers. You can watch the full video of the rescue here.
A spokesperson from SIMEC Mining has confirmed that the coal mine had remained closed since the incident and no reopening date was set. The site’s 400 staff are now working on community projects in and around the local area Wollondilly
“SIMEC is giving workers the option of taking annual leave or assisting with a number of projects to help improve local amenities,” the spokesman said.
“We have contacted a number of community groups – including NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services and Wollondilly Shire Council – to garner suitable ideas on how our staff could best assist on identified projects at no cost to the community.
“A perfect example is the Thirlmere Lakes picnic grounds and fencing improvements project, with Tahmoor employees and contractors providing labour for the project.
“Other projects include maintenance of the park roads through filling potholes and painting of fences at the Bargo sports ground.”
The spokesman said the initiative would not only benefit Wollondilly but also ensure Tahmoor coal mine employees had continual work while investigations continued.
”SIMEC continues to work closely with the relevant authorities to investigate the breakdown and determine the safest method of resuming operations,” he said.
CFMEU south western district vice president mining and energy, Bob Timbs said the decision was a “win-win” for everyone involved.
“It’s not often the union sees eye to eye with companies and bosses,” he said.
“SIMEC has done the right thing to keep their workers employed.
“We have to give credit where credit is due.”
It is expected that the New South Wales Resources Regulator has been on-site investigating the incident and other safety issues. It is believed that the failure of the No.3 Winder has removed that mines secondary means for egress from the mine.