Fate of mine sealed
END of an era for hundreds of underground miners
Tuesday 09 August 2016
The corridors of the Newlands Northern Underground coal mine have seen their last foreseeable human activity this week with owner Glencore completing final shutdown works at the site.
The day has been a long time coming, with Glencore first flagging the underground mine would become unviable by late 2015 more than two years ago.
A miner working at the site told Shift Miner the final steps to seal the mine had occurred in the last fortnight.
“Last Thursday the final ventilation fan was turned off and the top shaft bend was removed,” he said.
“Once this was done, we commenced filling the shaft and completed the final portal seals.”
The Newlands Northern Underground mine is adjacent to the Newlands above ground coal mine and is located 33 kilometres north-west of the township of Glenden and 190 km by road west of Mackay.
Historically, both operations have produced a combined 11 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal a year.
Development at Newlands Coal began in 1981 with first coal in 1983 from the Newlands main open cut mine. Further open cut mining occurred at Eastern Creek in 1995, Suttor Creek in 2004 and Wollombi in 2006.
Underground mining began in 1998 with the opening of the Southern Underground which was later replaced by the Northern Underground.