Huntly East methane levels safe: Solid

SOLID Energy has defended methane levels at its Huntly East underground mine in New Zealand after monitoring equipment detected elevated levels of methane around a geological fault in a working area of the mine.
Huntly East methane levels safe: Solid Huntly East methane levels safe: Solid Huntly East methane levels safe: Solid Huntly East methane levels safe: Solid Huntly East methane levels safe: Solid

Huntly East Mine. Courtesy Solid Energy New Zealand.

Lou Caruana

On November 11, mining operations in the area were suspended while it was degassed over several days.

It involved using an auxiliary fan which sucks out the gas at a slow and steady rate.

Solid Energy chief operating officer Barry Bragg said there was nothing about the issue to give rise to any concerns despite “alarmist” and “irresponsible” allegations.

“Our monitoring equipment detected elevated gas levels and as a result we implemented our standard procedures for dealing with it,” he said.

“We fully briefed our staff on this incident and are not aware that anyone has concerns about safety at the mine.

“We are certainly very surprised by the allegations.”

While the incident did not have to be reported under legislation, Solid did report it to the Department of Labour under its standard practice and has shared the details of the investigation with the department.

“This is part of the open and transparent process we run with our staff, the union and the department when an incident happens,” Bragg said.

“We’ll certainly be talking to our staff again today and encouraging anyone who has concerns or who believes that they have information about anything to talk to mine managers or our health and safety people.”

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