Underground at Peabody Energy's North Goonyella Mine in the Bowen Basin.
Underground at Peabody Energy's North Goonyella Mine in the Bowen Basin. Peabody Energy

Industry body optimistic mine fire fallout will be limited

MINING workers and businesses connected to North Goonyella Mine remain in limbo as a fire continues to rage in its depths.

However, Resource Industry Network (RIN) general manager Adrienne Rourke said workers and suppliers in the Mackay region should not lose hope.

If the fire, sparked by the spontaneous combustion of coal, is not able to be extinguished and the mine is not able to reopen in coming months, it's expected most Peabody Energy employees should be able to find new work relatively easily. Skilled staff are badly needed across the Mackay region and Bowen Basin, Ms Rourke said.

Additionally, North Goonyella Mine - while certainly an important economic contributor - is just one of 43 mines in the Bowen Basin.

"Realistically, there's not going to be a massive impact, generally, to the sector who are doing work," Ms Rourke said.

Businesses, particularly those in Paget, often supply a number of mines in the basin, diversifying their work across multiple companies.

"Obviously, if businesses are primarily supplying that mine, they might need to look for other opportunities. But it's a very positive market at the moment. It won't be difficult at all to find more work." Ms Rourke said.

It's thought this should prevent most from facing too much difficultly in the face of the situation at the site about 65km north of Moranbah and 160km west of Mackay.

Peabody has stated it does not expect any production from North Goonyella in the fourth quarter of the year, noting it had in its possession a small amount of coal in inventory to ship.

The multi-national also stated it is too early to assess the full financial impact to future periods as a result of the fire.

While there's obviously no good time for such an incident to occur, the fire has broken out during a relatively stable period for the mining industry in Queensland.

Peabody has stated workers have been stood down on full pay.



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