Jul 13, 2020

Methane gas incident at Bowen Basin mine

Methane gas incident at Bowen Basin mine

Fitzroy Australia Resources has suspended activity in part of its Carborough Downs coking coal mine after an incident described as a localised ignition of methane gas.

Coal production areas of the mine are unaffected and are still operating.

The ignition occurred on Friday in the rib line of an area being developed for future longwall mining, the company said.

“The flame was quickly and safely extinguished by the crew in that area of the mine and no personnel were injured,” a Fitzroy Australia Resources spokesman said.

“Initial investigation findings indicate that the flame developed while installing standard strata support. The subsequent controls were in place and effective.”

He said the company had immediately suspended mining activities in the development panels pending the outcome of an investigation by the company and the Queensland Mines Inspectorate.

The Carborough Downs underground mine is about 20km east of Moranbah in the Bowen Basin.

A Queensland mine safety board of inquiry is underway into multiple cases of excess methane gas levels at Bowen Basin mines within the past year, following an underground gas explosion at the Grosvenor longwall on May 6 which left five miners with serious burns.  

They include 27 high potential incidents at Grosvenor involving exceedence of methane (more than 2.5 per cent) in and around the longwall between July 1 last year and May 5, 11 such high potential incidents at Grasstree mine, one at Moranbah North and one at Oaky North in the same timeframe.