31st October 2017

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Resources Regulator has issued a notice to Ashton Coal prohibiting all workers from entering the site’s underground workings - except for those undertaking safety-related activities.

The notice follows two incidents that occurred on 21 and 22 October 2017, where methane gas levels exceeded legislated limits, and in once instance reaching 3.24 per cent. At the time workers were not withdrawn from the mines.

The mine’s trigger action response plan requires that workers are immediately withdrawn from the mine when methane levels are greater than 2 per cent in accessible roadways.

After being advised of the incidents, Resource Regulator inspectors attended the mine and issued the prohibition notice.

The notice was lifted on 28 October following an investigation by the mine including a detailed risk assessment and the implementation of additional risk controls.

The Resources Regulator has continued to monitor the situation and is satisfied that appropriate actions have been taken to ensure workers at the mine are not exposed to risk.