The management tree at the company is undergoing a transition period since general manager of northern operations Steve Bracken was promoted to the position of chief operating officer.
Taking over Bracken’s former role is Andy Myors, who was previously general manager of business support and was also formerly general manager of Centennial Coal’s west operations.
Myor’s business support role is going to Centennial’s general manager of health, safety, environment and community Mark Levy.
This position will be taken by Mick Cairney who was the Newstan Lochiel mine/project manager.
This job is going to Springvale Colliery mine manager Terry O’Brien, who will take Newstan Lochiel from the project stages through to operation.
Centennial’s Graham Pryor has been appointed as temporary mine manager of Springvale, with a permanent appointment to this role expected in the near future.
Pryor was appointed project manager for the Neubecks Creek open cut mine.
In its internal announcement, Centennial said this role would be vital to bringing additional coal resources online in the western region.
By the end of this month all of these management changes, including the appointment of a new mine manager for Springvale, are expected to be finalised.
White’s appointment at Airly
While White was in the unfortunate circumstance of being the general manager of the Pike River mine at the time the disaster struck last year, he is very experienced in Australia’s coal industry.
He has previously worked for Centennial and is a former deputy chief inspector of coal mines in Queensland.
White also holds Queensland and NSW First Class Mine Manager’s certificates of competency.
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union represents coal miners in New Zealand and its assistant national secretary Jed O’Connell believes White was the mine manager of the Pike River mine for around six months before the first explosion.
He said underground coal mines in New Zealand were burdened with an under-resourced mines inspectorate and an absence of union-elected check inspectors, creating a poor supporting mechanism for mine managers in terms of safety, especially compared to operations in Queensland and NSW.
New Zealand police and Department of Labour investigations are continuing over the Pike River disaster and Royal Commission hearings are scheduled to begin again in July.
O’Connell told ILN individuals such as mine managers could face prosecution under the country’s safety laws.
The Department of Labour has successfully prosecuted and fined the mine manager of Black Reef Mine's small Tiller underground coal operation near Greymouth over the death of Robert James McGowan in 2006.