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Production resumes at Australian mine after fatal incident

03 July 2014

Longwall production has restarted at Yancoal’s  Austar mine in New South Wales, according to Australian Mining. Two workers were killed by an underground wall collapse there in April. Miners at Austar will work a different face, while a further 70 have been redeployed to two of the company’s other mines nearby, Abel and Ashton. 

Before the incident 400 miners were employed at the mine.

The incident brought the number of mining-related deaths in Australia to nine in the nine months to April, against two for the whole of the previous year. An investigation into the incident is still taking place.

The Austar mine was closed after a fire in 2003, but reopened in 2004 after its purchase by Chinese-owned Yancoal Australia which introduced longwall mining technology to extract the coal.

Meanwhile, the latest fatality in the Australian mining sector is thought to be an operator at the Mount Isa Mine, who disappeared in late June. He is believed to have fallen into an ore pass that could now contain about 100,000 tonnes of copper ore.

An ore pass is a near vertical shaft in an underground mine into which ore is dumped from various levels. The ore falls to the bottom of the shaft where it is crushed mechanically.

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