Peabody announced in a media release today that it has developed a multi-tiered plan in an effort to extinguish the fire and contain the impacts at its North Goonyella Mine in Queensland. The plan was reviewed by the Queensland Mine Inspectorate and is undergoing implementation at this time.
The media release stated that “Safety is Peabody’s first priority, and the underground mine and surface areas remain restricted to access through exclusion zones while the work continues.”
Elements of the plan include:
- Implementing use of a mobile GAG unit – a specialist piece of equipment that generates high-moisture inert gases to displace oxygen supply at a fire zone;
- Installing temporary seals into mine openings following completion of risk assessments and utilizing remote-control equipment to pump a fire-resistant expandable material called Rocsil;
- Ensuring the area is further isolated by additional drilling and sealing of the old longwall panel;
- Working with air quality monitoring experts on a voluntary program of environmental monitoring at North Goonyella, including regular site visits and boundary inspections to assess and analyze air quality data from key points;
- Ensuring all aspects of the exclusion zone and other safety protocols are in place and observed; and
- Utilizing strict risk assessments for all anticipated plan components.
“Working in consultation with the Inspectorate and third-party experts, we’re moving safely and as quickly as possible to address the situation,” said President Peabody Australia George J. Schuller Jr. “Peabody appreciates the ongoing work of the team at North Goonyella, the Inspectorate, independent technical experts, Queensland Mines Rescue Service, union representatives and all of the people who are engaged in the response to this issue.”
The company noted that the fire is ongoing, and it is too early to assess the extent of impacts. Peabody continues to work closely with landholders and neighbors and others to ensure stakeholders have access to up-to-date information about the continuing situation