The CFMEU has slammed Anglo American over another high potential gas related incident that occurred at the Anglo American Moranbah North mine this morning.
According to reports, the Moranbah North mine ventilation fan reportedly tripped between a shift changeover this morning. The Union says that the mine was re-energised without adequate checks of the ventilation fan failure, leaving the potential for ignition of the mine’s atmosphere.
Stephen Smyth, District President of the CFMEU Mining & Energy Division told ABC News today “[When] you re-power that mine or re-energise that mine, you’re sending electric power back into the mine through cables and if there’s gas present, then you’ve got a big issue”
“You cannot play it down, the seriousness of what’s happened”Stephen Smyth CFMEU
“You can end up with explosive mixes of gas.
“I’ve been made aware that they did have high gas levels in certain areas of the mine at this time from the ventilation being reduced.
“Everyone knows that if you’ve lost ventilation to your mine, before you can re-energise or re-power you need to do a pre-shift inspection of the mine, re-examine the workings and then you go through a system of gradually turning the power on as you’ve inspected certain areas.
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“You don’t just hit the button and turn it on.”
“There’s a lot of unanswered questions at the Grosvenor mine, there’s a lot of unanswered questions in the industry and yet we still continue to have these types of incidents going on,” he said.
“There’s already enough concern about what’s happened at the Grosvenor mine, they’re still trying to get to the bottom of what’s happened, they’re still trying to get to the potential source of ignition there let alone to have an incident or an event occur right next door.
“The big thing was the lack of communication to the workforce about it, they’re up in arms and they’re demanding a lot of answers, as we all should be, in light of what’s happening in and around the Moranbah area.”
Mr Smyth is demanding that the latest incident be scrutinised by the Queensland Board of Inquiry launched this month.
A Queensland Mines Inspectorate (QMI) spokesperson told ABC News it was notified of a planned withdrawal of workers at Moranbah North mine following a loss of electrical power at the mine site.
“QMI is on site investigating this High Potential Incident”
“No injuries were reported to the QMI in relation to this incident.”
Anglo American has confirmed that a power outage in the Moranbah area on 31 May resulted in a brief shutdown of the ventilation system at Moranbah North Mine.
An Anglo Spokesperson said “The mine was re-powered only when gas levels were within acceptable limits.”
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