A Queensland mine worker could be slapped with a $50,000 fine or face six months in jail after allegedly being caught smoking a cigarette in an underground coal mine in the Bowen Basin.
The incident was alleged to have happened in April last year at Peabody Energy’s North Goonyella mine near Moranbah in Central Queensland.
Speaking to the ABC, a Department of Mines and Energy spokesperson said the man’s illegal conduct was discovered after his co-workers smelt smoke. He was quickly located and taken to the surface.
The contract worker was immediately fired from his job and is due to face court later this month in Rockhampton.
The man faces prosecution on two counts brought by Queensland Government mines inspectors under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999 after The Department of Natural Resources and Mines launched an investigation lasting several months.