North Goonyella Updates

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.
 

Background

(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.

 

FAQs

What is being done to resolve the situation? 
  • Peabody has developed a multi-tiered plan in an effort to extinguish the fire and contain impacts, which is reviewed by the Queensland Mine Inspectorate.​

  • 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;

    • Conducting 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.

 
How severe is the fire? When do you expect it to be extinguished?
  • It is too early to assess the extent of impacts or say with certainty when full extinguishment will occur though we continue working with a broad team of industry, union and technical experts in the response.

  • We will assess ongoing impacts as time goes by and provide updates as we have more information.


When do you expect to resume normal activities?
  • Peabody does not expect any production from North Goonyella in the fourth quarter of 2018. 

  • It is too early to assess the full financial impact to future periods as a result of the ongoing issue.

  • The company has been advising customers of a force majeure event regarding coal shipments.

  • We will assess the implications as time goes by and provide an update when we have more information to do so. 

  • Please watch for continued updates on PeabodyEnergy.com.

 
What can be learned from this event?
  • The company's first priority is safety as we work to address the complex situation through a deliberate, staged process. ​

  • At the appropriate time, the company will initiate a formal review of the event, with the involvement of independent third parties.

  • We intend to share learnings with the industry and other stakeholders. 

 
What is the status of the workforce? 
  • Peabody continues to engage in direct communications with the workforce of the mine, which has remained on paid leave since Sept. 1.

  • We understand the uncertainty that this causes for employees and other stakeholders.

  • 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.


Links

 
 

Media Contacts

Vic Svec
Senior Vice President - Global Investor and Corporate Relations

Charlene Murdock
Director - Corporate Communications

Kellie Schneider
Director - Corporate Communications, Australia

+1-314-342-3400
U.S. PR@PeabodyEnergy.com
AUS media_au@peabodyenergy.com

For our 24-hour media hotline, please call +1-314-342-4351. Please note that the communications team can only answer inquiries from media professionals. All non-media related inquiries should contact 314-342-3400.

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Peabody is the leading global pure-play coal company and a member of the Fortune 500, serving power and steel customers in more than 25 countries on six continents. The company offers significant scale, high-quality assets, and diversity in geography and products. Peabody is guided by seven core values: safety, customer focus, leadership, people, excellence, integrity and sustainability.