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Highwall failure – Surface Mine

highwall failure

Queensland Coal Mines Inspectorate has released an incident report regarding a highwall failed at a surface mining operation.

The Regulator said that the incident occurred during pre-strip operations, a section of highwall failed resulting in fallen material impacting the undercarriage and counterweight on an electric shovel.

The incident follows the death of miner David Routledge in 2019 after a highwall collapsed at the Middlemount Mine.

Loader engulfed by highwall | 38 year old operator killed

Excavator slips over edge of highwall | Operator escapes 20m fall

Queensland Coal Mines Inspectorate’s recommendations:

The Qld Mines Inspectorate has made a number of recommendations relating to the latest incident

Site Senior Executives

  • Ensure sufficient data from exploration drilling is available that provides for accurate modelling of faults lines etc.

The senior position responsible for mine design within the management structure

  • Ensure sufficient geotechnical data for safe pit design and modelling is collected, analysed, interpreted and communicated.

Open Cut Examiners and Supervisors

  • Must carry out thorough inspections of pit walls looking for signs of potential strata failures.

Coal mine workers

  • Work within design parameters and report any unplanned movement of plant or material

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