Solid Energy last night (20 June) temporarily suspended coal extraction at its Huntly East Mine in accordance with a Prohibition Notice issued by the Department of Labour's (DoL) High Hazards Unit after inspectors identified an accumulation of methane in a recently-mined area of the underground mine.
Solid Energy Chief Operating Officer Barry Bragg said that the company remains confident that its mines are operating safely. The inspectors have asked for more information about the accumulation of methane and how we are managing that methane.
Although coal extraction and development had been suspended, mine personnel are permitted to carry out maintenance and other work underground.
Barry Bragg says: "We will provide the required information to the Department today and we will meet the inspectors again tomorrow (Friday, 22 June). We are aware of no reason why the prohibition notice should not be lifted as soon as we have provided the information the Department is seeking and expect to resume full mining activities shortly afterwards."
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