Injured coal miner Wayne Sellars, badly burned in the explosion at the Grosvenor mine at Moranbah on May 6 2020, gave evidence at the coal mining board of inquiry on April 7. Picture: Josh Woning
Injured coal miner Wayne Sellars, badly burned in the explosion at the Grosvenor mine at Moranbah on May 6 2020, gave evidence at the coal mining board of inquiry on April 7. Picture: Josh Woning

Next steps in Grosvenor mine explosion inquiry revealed

A rare inquiry set up after last year’s horrific underground disaster at Anglo American’s Grosvenor mine is now finalising its investigation into the incident.

The Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry’s second tranche of public hearings was adjourned on Friday, April 9.

Since the hearings launched on March 9, the board has heard evidence from 15 witnesses including mining inspectors from Resources Safety and Health Queensland, industry experts and injured coal mine worker Wayne Sellars.

The hearings explored the Grosvenor mine disaster on May 6 2020 and the 27 methane exceedances that occurred at the mine between July 1 2019 and May 5 2020.

They also covered the role of the Mines Inspectorate and its response to high potential incidents.

An inquiry spokeswoman said the board was currently finalising its investigation and writing part two of its report.

She said this document would be provided to Mines Minister Scott Stewart on May 31, but it would be up to Mr Stewart on whether it was released to the public.

The board’s first part of the inquiry report was published online in December and found mining companies were not taking methane exceedances seriously enough and the mine safety regulator struggled to attract and retain mines inspectors.

The Daily Mercury asked Mr Stewart if he intended to publicly release part two of the inquiry report.

He responded: “The report from the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry will be considered by the government when it is handed down by the independent Board of Inquiry. The first part of the report was tabled publicly by the government.”

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'We were punished if someone injured themselves': Miner

Workers' concerns about Grosvenor sometimes ignored: Miner

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Board chair Terry Martin thanked all witnesses and parties with leave to appear who participated in the public hearings and provided written submissions.

“I would also like to thank those who assisted the inquiry through the provision of information,” Mr Martin said.

“If the board decides to call further witnesses these hearings will be held virtually and livestreamed to the public.”

An Anglo spokeswoman said it was unacceptable that workers were injured at Grosvenor mine.

“Since May 2020, we have looked at every aspect of the management of risk in our underground mines, and commenced a range of work to accelerate technology solutions, particularly automation and remote operation,” the spokeswoman said.

“We continue to cooperate and proactively respond to information as it becomes available from the Board of Inquiry and other investigations, and have a significant body of work underway across our underground mines, including putting measures in place to ensure the future safe operation of Grosvenor mine.”

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