Longwall mining at North Goonyella mine.
Longwall mining at North Goonyella mine.

Coal giant wants to sell CQ mine

MINING giant Peabody wants to offload a white elephant that continues to face setbacks after a devastating underground fire in 2018.

In a fourth quarter and full year 2019 financial report to investors, the company stated it was considering a full sale of its North Goonyella mine at Moranbah.

Peabody announced mass job cuts at the site in October last year, soon after it was revealed it could take three years or more to restart production after the fire.

"Following a significant reduction in holding costs, Peabody is commencing a commercial process for its North Goonyella Mine in parallel with the existing and ongoing mine development plan," the financial report stated.

"The process comes in response to substantial expressions of interest in this valuable asset from potential strategic partners and other producers.

"Commercial outcomes could include a strategic financial partner, joint venture structure or complete sale of North Goonyella."

North Goonyella Mine in the Bowen Basin.
North Goonyella Mine in the Bowen Basin.

The coal company last year said after a three-month review process, it had decided it would not attempt to access the mine beyond zone B due to the time, cost and regulatory approach required to ventilate and re-enter the rest of the mine.

This week, Peabody said discussions with the Queensland Mines Inspectorate regarding ventilation and re-entry of zone B were ongoing.

A mines inspectorate spokeswoman said the safety of coal miners was paramount.

"The Queensland Mines Inspectorate continues to work closely with Peabody, following the spontaneous combustion incident at its North Goonyella mine in September 2018," she said.

"This includes regulatory oversight of re-ventilation activities which commenced in mid-2019 and allowed re-entry to zone A, and now includes a proposal by the operator to re-ventilate zone B."

The company continued to employ its North Goonyella workforce for more than a year despite the mine being out of production.

Last year it was reported three North Goonyella workers had chosen to be redeployed to other sites and 94 would be made redundant.



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