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Mining industry backs need for answers over Grosvenor blast

Business

The mining industry said there was a need to understand what happened at the Grosvenor mine when five workers were badly injured by an underground blast.

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Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the industry supported any examination into the Grosvenor Mine incident that would give the industry a clearer understanding of what happened and what, if any, additional measures could be taken in our mines.

“The Minister (Anthony Lynham) has discussed the option of a Board of Inquiry with me.  I understand this Inquiry would be in addition to the Mines Inspectorate investigation already underway. QRC will cooperate fully with all and any inquiries.

Cabinet will decide on the Board of Inquiry today. The Government had to decide whether the inquiry would prejudice any prosecutions related to the blast.

It follows six deaths at mines last year and another death earlier this year.

The mine is owned by multinational Anglo American. It’s metallurgical coal chief executive Tyler Mitcheson said the focus remained on the care of the injured workers and their families and finding out what went wrong.

A staged re-entry to the Grosvenor mine started yesterday after a risk assessment received approval from the Mines Inspectorate.

“The staged re-entry ensures that all safety controls are in place including reconnecting the gas monitoring equipment, restoring power to the underground and pumping excess water from the mine,” Mitchelson said.

“Re-entry to the mine will enable investigations into the incident to commence; we will ensure our investigation draws on the best possible expert advice.

“We will not resume mining until we are satisfied that we know what happened and how we can avoid it happening again.

“Our team at Grosvenor has worked tirelessly, under challenging circumstances, to ensure we can safely re-enter the mine so we can begin investigations and I want to acknowledge their work and dedication.

“We have sent our coal mine workers due to work last week home on full pay and will continue to approach this day by day, as we step through our investigation.

“It would not be right for us or anyone else to comment on the circumstances leading up to this incident, as this will all form part of the thorough expert investigation. It is therefore very premature for anyone to speculate on the causes of this particular incident.”

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