Tuesday 15 April 2014

Two miners missing after cave-in at New South Wales coal mine.

Two miners are missing and an unknown number have been injured after a cave-in at the Austar Coal Mine at Paxton in Hunter Valley, New South Wales. The incident happened at about 9.15 pm local time on Monday 14 April 2014, and has been described variously as either a roof collapse or a wall collapse.

Emergency services at the Austar Coal Mine. Jonathan Carroll/The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Austar Coal Mine is a deep longwall mine operating at depths of up to 530 m, with coal excavated from a single seem 4.8 m to 6.5 m thick along a 220 m wide exposure. The mine employs 409 staff including contractors, and produces around 3 million tonnes of coal per year; it is believed that the mine holds reserves of around 40 million tonnes.

The mine was closed between 2004 and 2006, after an underground fire halted production, forcing owners Gympie Gold into liquidation. The mine was subsequently acquired by current owners, Yancoal Australia, an Australian-Chinese partnership, and reopened.

The approximate location of the Austar Coal Mine. Google Maps.

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