Peabody have provided an update overnight on the previously reported North Goonyella mine fire and have advised that the Queensland Mines Rescue GAG is now being returned offsite.
Peabody says that activities at the North Goonyella mine site remain focused on assessment of underground conditions and advanced planning for re-ventilation ahead of potential re-entry to the mine when safe and appropriate to do so.
The mine is still maintaining exclusion zones with underground access prohibited and limited access to surface areas of the mine and has been undertaking a range of surface drilling activities to establish additional monitoring boreholes. The company says that drilling is near completion.
Water has continued to plague the mine with a accumulation in a number of areas. Peabody say that “Pumping activities are advancing in response to ongoing accumulation of water in parts of the mine.”
The update highlights that the use of cameras to assess underground conditions has continued and has recorded images (well we’d hope so). The update said most images show no impact.
Later in the update Peabody says that despite most images showing no impact, signs of roof falls have been observed in several areas of the mine from the multiple areas observed to date. One section of the conveyor belt shows damage from the previously reported fire.
Of course underlying worry to Peabody will be that the “CO levels in certain parts of the mine remain slightly elevated.” Which means? Is something still burning or is it out? We’re left to wonder on that one.
Peabody says that the preparation plant is operating at low levels to re-process former prep plant material and produce limited quantities of thermal coal and that a small amount of metallurgical coal remains onsite to be processed.
Finally Peabody highlighted that the company’s inquiry is continuing, despite the incident occurring more than two months ago. This is in stark contrast to BHP’s Runaway Train incident that released findings to the public and shareholders some weeks after the incident.
An industry insider told AMSJ “Peabody clearly already knows what happened in this incident, they’re waiting for the Queensland Government to release its’ findings before the shit fight begins. Anyway you look at it, it’s going to be a shit fight.”
The CFMEU have remained silent.
Peabody added that it is co-operating fully with the governmental investigation.
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