An inquiry into a blast at an Anglo American coal mine in Australia that seriously injured five workers has found that the miner exposed workers to excessive risk.
Mining activities at Anglo’s Grosvenor mine in Queensland were halted after the May 2020 explosion that triggered a government inquiry.
Anglo repeatedly produced more methane gas than it could remove, according to the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry.
The company vowed to act on the recommendations in today’s report and said it had invested $46m in safety initiatives over the last year.
The report found that Grosvenor failed to take “timely and meaningful” action to control the hazard posed by methane and that workers were repeatedly subject to unacceptable risk.
Workers ‘seriously let down’
The most shocking part of the report, according to Stephen Smyth, union president of CFMEU, was Anglo’s failure to manage dangerous gases at the mine in the months leading up to the blast.
“Management knew there were problems following a series of high potential incidents during March and April, but did not slow coal production to match its gas drainage capacity,” he said.
“Coal mine workers put their lives in the hands of mine managers every time they go to work and they should be able to have confidence every possible measure is in place to protect them. They have been seriously let down in this case.”
Following today’s report, Anglo American’s share price dropped by 2.3 per cent as markets opened.