North Goonyella Mine.
North Goonyella Mine. Melanie Whiting

Workers to re-enter coal mine 10 months after horror blaze

FOR the first time in 10 months, workers will re-enter Zone 1 of North Goonyella Mine.

The major underground coal mine in the Bowen Basin has been closed since September, when a spontaneous underground coal fire put the long-term viability of the site into question, with the potential to burn for years if efforts to extinguish it failed.

Peabody today announced the re-entry activity, in consultation with the Queensland Mine Inspectorate, as part of a comprehensive, phased re-ventilation and safe re-entry plan for the mine.

"Following the reventilation of zone one of the mine, our team is ready to return underground and move us yet one step closer to resuming normal operations," Peabody Australia president George J. Schuller Jr said.

"We appreciate the dedication and participation of our trained employees, as well as the Queensland Mine Rescue Service, as we continue to advance this process."

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The first zone of the mine represents approximately 25 percent of the area to be re-entered, and the area expected to be least affected by the fire.

Upon re-entering Zone 1, Peabody will assess conditions underground and make any necessary repairs required prior to re-ventilating Zone 2.

The company will be providing updates.

North Goonyella is located in the Bowen Basin at Moranbah and has coal reserves amounting to 175 million tonnes of coking coal.