This is a blow for the mine, which was overcoming difficult conditions and attempting a longwall move without any incidents.
“While completing a routine longwall move over the Christmas period, Carborough Downs experienced a roof fall on January 4 which has delayed the progress of the longwall move,” a Vale spokesman told ILN.
“No employees were injured and work is underway to complete the longwall move and return to normal operations as quickly as possible.”
In the third quarter, Carborough Downs, which is a 100% metallurgical coal underground mining operation, had its production impacted by a longwall move that began in mid-July and ended in late August.
Vale is in negotiations to sell at least 15-25% of its coal portfolio across Australia and Mozambique to focus more on its core iron ore business.
Vale’s efforts to diversify into coal ramped up in 2007 when it advanced the Moatize project in Mozambique and established its Australian coal business by purchasing stakes of the Carborough Downs, Isaac Plains and Integra coal mines, plus exploration assets, from private company AMCI for $A835 million.