“The Office of Resources and Energy has lifted prohibition notices on the Vale-operated Integra mine, which has permitted resumption of normal operations,” NSW Minister for Energy and Resources Chris Hartcher said.
“A formal notice has been issued advising that recovery not be rushed and to avoid risk in the process.
“I have been advised by the department that inquiries into the unsafe level of methane that led to the closure of the mine are still continuing.
“The site check inspector was present throughout the proceedings and in agreement with the actions taken.
“The NSW government considers the health and safety of workers to be the first priority and of paramount importance for mining operations.”
Vale said that all personnel were withdrawn from the mine in a safe and efficient manner after notifying the check inspector of the high gas levels on July 12.
Since then, mine management has worked closely with the Mines Inspectorate to secure a safe and controlled return to operations, general manager Integra operations Andrew Betts said.
The recovery efforts had progressed well and according to plan, he said.
“Throughout this process we have had a very clear and considered strategy which has involved close consultation with employees, the Mines Inspectorate and union representatives,” he said.
“As we take the steps forward to coal production, our energies remained focused on the continued safety of staff and the mine.”