Mar 19, 2017

Underground flooding brings longwall to a halt

Underground flooding brings longwall to a halt

Workers are being stood down and site contractors demobilised after a water inflow at Caledon Coal’s Cook Colliery in central Queensland.

The company said the water had fully inundated the longwall face and equipment.

“A dewatering and assessment process will be required over the coming months after which time the company can ascertain the full impact of the water inundation on the longwall equipment and strata conditions,” Caledon Coal said in a written statement.

“The company then expects to be in a position to make an informed assessment of any longwall production restart and the financial viability of the business.

“The Cook Colliery is Caledon’s sole operating asset and source of income. Eighty-five per cent of Cook’s coal production is sourced from the longwall mining area that has been inundated. The loss of revenue from its primary production source will have a major financial impact on the Company.

“As a result, it has been necessary to implement several measures to reduce expenditure. Most site contractors will be demobilised and, where appropriate, contract agreements will be terminated to avoid ongoing losses.

“Regrettably, it is also necessary to stand down some of the workforce at Cook Colliery for an expected two-month period under the terms of the Cook Colliery Enterprise Agreement. This is not a decision the Company takes lightly but is necessary in the circumstances.

“To alleviate the financial impact on employees, the company will provide affected employees with the opportunity to access accrued annual leave or long service leave entitlements for the relevant period instead of being stood down.”


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