Safety is Peabody’s first priority at the North Goonyella Mine in Queensland where the company continues to work to extinguish the fire and contain impacts through a deliberate, staged process. Peabody is implementing a multi-tiered plan reviewed by the Queensland Mine Inspectorate and involving third-party technical experts, government agencies, union representatives and others.
Exclusion zones are in place restricting access while activities continue. The company appreciates the ongoing support of the great team at the mine, community partners and neighbors, the Inspectorate and other government agencies, and others in the industry during this time.
The company will continue to provide updates on PeabodyEnergy.com.
(Based on information that the Company has obtained to date)
On Sept. 1, the North Goonyella Mine began registering elevated gas levels. As a result, mine management removed people from underground in accordance with our safety systems, contacted the Queensland Mines Inspectorate and began consulting with third-party experts, pumping nitrogen near the coal face and mobilizing other resources to respond to those levels.
In subsequent days, services such as power, ventilation and water management activities continued. Through Sept. 16, gas levels lowered at times to the point of allowing temporary re-entry by a limited number of personnel for inspection and other activities. Surface activities continued, and mine personnel remained at the ready for resumption of the longwall move. (Major equipment and some shields had been moved to the new longwall panel, with about half of the shields and some ancillary equipment remaining to be moved from the completed panel area.)
Gas levels remained variable through this period, with subsequent signs of elevated temperatures and low-level oxidation of coal. The company advanced a progressive plan in an attempt to reduce levels and enable work to resume the longwall move, including drilling additional inertization holes, pumping additional nitrogen and liquid nitrogen near the face from multiple units and sealing a portion of the mine near the completed longwall area – all from the surface.
On Sept. 27, mine personnel observed dark smoke coming from the mine, indicating a fire in a portion of the underground area. Nobody was underground at the time, and all personnel on mine property were safely removed to a perimeter exclusion zone.
In consultation with the Queensland Mines Inspectorate, Peabody initiated a plan to extinguish the fire and contain impacts at North Goonyella Mine. By October 2, the company reported that early indications showed this plan has yielded visible results, with only a slight amount of what appears to be either steam or white smoke emanating at this time from one mine shaft.
Safety is Peabody’s first priority, and we continue to work with the Queensland Mines Inspectorate and third-party personnel to manage next steps to address the situation. We will assess ongoing impacts as time goes by and provide updates as we have more information.