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Queensland mine partially closed after hazardous coal gas leaks

02 April 2012

Following the exposure of 25 miners to hazardous gases, Thiess has shut down sections of its Collinsville coal mine in North-Eastern Australia. The operator has been working with the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) since February to solve safety issues at the mine.

Parts of the Collinsville mine have now been closed due to coal gas leaks
Parts of the Collinsville mine have now been closed due to coal gas leaks

"The coal seam at the Collinsville mine is prone to gas emission because of intrusions and minerals such as iron pyrites found in the surrounding geology that are prone to spontaneous combustion," a DEEDI spokesman explained.

The situation came to a head after fourteen miners were exposed to high levels of gas in a single incident at the coal mine.

"The safety of our people is our number one focus, we have been working closely with technical expert government agency SIMTARS, the Mines Inspectorate, independent experts and our people," Thiess' executive general manager Michael Wright said, according to the Daily Mercury.

Thiess' remediation team will install positive pressure ventilation systems in the cabins of its mine site vehicles to minimise the potential for gas entry and to increase safety on site. It has also halted some night operations due to atmospheric conditions exacerbating the problem.

Since the start of this year 13 miners were hospitalised for treatment while another 12 were taken in for observation.

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