Blackwater miners redundant
WATER levels finally dropping but it could be months before fate of mine known.
Wednesday 22 March 2017
It will be months before a final decision is made on the future of the Cook Colliery at Blackwater according to the mine's owners Caledon.
The company advised this week that while water levels were now dropping due to increased pumping capacity, they were no closer to understanding what caused the mine to flood just over a fortnight ago.
However, in the short to medium term, the mine will be closed, and management says significant numbers of contractors and employees will lose their jobs.
“A dewatering and assessment process will be required over the coming months after which time the Company can ascertain the full impact of the water inundation on the longwall equipment and strata conditions,” Caledon said.
“Caledon then expects to be in a position to make an informed assessment of any longwall production restart and the financial viability of the business.
“The Cook Colliery is Caledon’s sole operating asset and source of income, 85 percent of Cook’s coal production is sourced from the longwall mining area that has been inundated.
“The loss of revenue from its primary production source will have a major financial impact on the Company, and as a result, most site contractors will be demobilised and, where appropriate, contract agreements will be terminated to avoid ongoing losses.
“Regrettably, it is also necessary to stand down some of the workforce at Cook Colliery for an expected two-month period under the terms of the Cook Colliery Enterprise Agreement.”
The Cook Colliery - Queensland’s oldest underground mine - was flooded on the 7th March from an unknown source.
No injuries have been reported.