A coal mine near Singleton, NSW was ordered to shut down following concerns of unsafe methane gas levels. The Intergra underground coal mine stopped operations and evacuated workers as the Department of Trade and Investment issued the order to cease work until further notice while investigations get under way.
Robin Williams the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union northern district vice-president said that he was seeking information from a union safety officer about the latest development. Mr Williams said that no doubt closure will have significant financial implications for the mine but it was already experiencing some difficulties. The mine is operated by Vale Australia and is said to employ 280 people.
Resources and Energy Minister for New South Wales Chris Hartcher said that Prohibition and Investigation Notices have required the operators of the mine to cease work until further notice to allow time to fully investigate the circumstances at the mine.
Mr Hartcher added that whilst the mine is currently idle, certain essential employees have been permitted to enter the mine for inspections and pumping operations. He had requested a detailed report on this issue and would continue working with the Department and mine operators to reach a satisfactory outcome.